GEERT VAN KEULEN (b.1943): Horn Concerto (Jacob Slagter [horn], David Robertson [conductor]), THEO LOEVENDIE (b.1930): Clarinet Concerto (George Pieterson [clarinet], Ingo Metzmacher [conductor]), WILLEM JETHS (b.1959): Flugelhorn Concerto (Peter Masseurs [flugelhorn], Markus Stenz [conductor]).
Catalogue Number: 01M077
Label: NorthWest Classics
Reference: NWC 109206
Description: Van Keulen's concerto is an approachable, very tonal post-romantic work in which an atmospheric but uneventful introductory first movement and lively scherzo preface the much longer slow final movement, which carries much of the emotional weight of the piece. Mahlerian horn-calls resonate in a somber, shadowy landscape. Loevendie's is very much a showpiece for the clarinet in loquacious mood, now tenderly plaintive, now insistently argumentative, against a muted, shimmering textured orchestral background. The orchestra is more assertive in part two, engaging with the soloist in lively discourse; the greater emphasis on harmony underlines the work's basic tonality more than was evident in the first movement, while the composer's jazz background is fleetingly glimpsed in some brief big band allusions. The Jeths is a tense and dramatic piece, rhythmically insistent and avoiding harmonic resolution in what is essentially a tonal vocabulary for extended passages, heightening the sense of tension. Played continuously, it falls into three clearly defined movements, with a cadenza in the last. The piece hints at some unwritten mythic narrative, with saurian rumblings in the orchestra, passionate duets between the soloist and similarly voiced orchestral brass, and a sense of drama acted out in a detailed Romantic landscape. Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra. NorthWest Classics SACD hybrid