KURT ANTON HUEBER (b.1928): Formant Spectrale for String Orchestra, Op. 17, HERBERT ZAGLER (b.1940): Violin Concerto "Tres Fratres", FELIX MENDELSSOHN (1809-1847): Violin Concerto in E Minor, Op. 64, MIKHAIL GLINKA (1804-1857): Valse Fantaisie in B Minor.
Catalogue Number: 12K121
Description: The 'three brothers' of Zagler's concerto are the three most numerous ethnic groups of Europe, unified here, if not necessarily in real life, by a common theme with rhythmic variants. The theme is dodecaphonic, but the work as a whole is firmly grounded in tonality. The first movement is 'Germanic' with big themes and a fugal development; the slow movement, 'Slavic', serious and elegiac, modally inflected; the finale lively and 'Mediterranean', incorporating familiar dance forms and chiming church bells. Huber's 1974 work is a forerunner of spectral composition, now made so much easier with the aid of computer analysis. The music's material is derived from the overtones of bell sounds from struck metal instruments, exhaustively elaborated by strings in a series of episodes which range from Mahlerian string textures (think Ninth Symphony) to Ligetian (Atmosphères). Thankfully the piece has a potent sense of musical-dramatic structure in addition to its fascinating acoustic sound-world; it would be nice if the same could be said of its many computer-era illegitimate offspring. Gernot Winischhofer (violin), Symphony Orchestra of the Hermitage, St. Petersburg; Saulius Sondeckis (Mendelssohn), Ernest Hoetzl.