SEBASTIAN FAGERLUND (b.1972): Transit for Guitar and Orchestra, Stonework, Drifts.
Catalogue Number: 03T078
Format: SACD hybrid
Description: More of what Fagerlund has previously demonstrated that he does really, really well (04Q088, 07N102, 12S072). Writing in an accessible, tonal idiom, he writes music of massive momentum and rhythmic drive, monumentality and irrepressible force. There is more than a little in common with John Adams - think of the pulsing dynamic drive of works like Harmonium and Harmonielehre (and many others). Fagerlund's orchestral textures are typically weightier, often evoking the scale of natural events and phenomena, and episodes of utter stasis interrupt the flow with a sense of vastness and timelessness. Stonework and Drifts are the first two parts of a projected triptych, with the third scheduled for premiere this year. Stonework refers to immense man-made structures of antiquity and the shamanistic rituals that surrounded them, and Drifts has the monumental flow of broad ocean currents, or perhaps the swirling of a hurricane seen from space. The six-section concerto, by the nature of the solo instrument, required a somewhat different approach, with the shifting orchestral planes and floes receding into the background, allowing the guitar center stage with active, pointillistic, highly virtuosic arpeggiated figuration. Indeed, in the second section, the strings sustain a hushed cluster against which the guitar plays a scintillating cadenza which the notes suggest is partly or wholly improvised. Gradually, the orchestra reasserts itself and enters into an increasingly intense dialogue with the soloist, at first in lightweight, brittle textures and then, with increasing rhythmic drive and weight, both enter a propulsive race toward the final meditation on the opening material. Ismo Eskelinen (guitar), Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestral Hannu Lintu.