CĂLIN HUMĂ (b.1965): Symphony No. 1 “Carpatica”, Symphony-Concerto for Piano and Orchestra.
Catalogue Number: 04V069
Reference: GMCD 7824
Description: Two substantial, tonal neo-Romantic works, rich in melody and harmony and subtly inflected with the eastern-western dichotomy of the composer’s Rumanian homeland. The Symphony-Concerto exudes the same full-blooded romantic warmth as Rachmaninov, who is not infrequently called to mind by details of melody and phrase. The work makes considerable virtuosic demands on the soloist who nonetheless shares equally in the musical argument with the sumptuous orchestral part, more a partner than an accompaniment. The first movement is very Rachmaninovian indeed; the second begins with Mahlerian horn-calls which return later to usher in the movement’s pastoral final section, initially prefacing a reflective, lyrical meditation; the finale begins with an hushed, Brucknerian solemnity before developing along spirited folk-dancing lines to bring the work to a rousing conclusion. The Symphony is to the Carpathian Mountains and the plains of northern Moldavia what Sibelius' are to the landscapes of Finland. Indeed, early Sibelius is an apparent influence on this impressive nationalistic statement. The first movement gradually expands a striking opening gesture into a first subject, which is developed at length and with ingenuity, with a strong feeling of atmosphere unmistakably inflected by Eastern European folk modes. The slow movement begins with a very Elgarian phrase, and then develops into a series of ‘meditations' on the theme, in an idiom reminiscent of Bruckner, an impression confirmed by the movement’s soaring climax. The brisk and bracing finale begins with a drummed tattoo which becomes the galloping rhythm of a rustic hunting scherzo by Bruckner, until a beautiful Sibelian slow section intervenes. When the galloping activity resumes it has taken on a distinctly eastern-European folk-like character, which dances to the symphony’s close.