ALFRED HUBER (b.1962): Enigma - Concerto for Violin and Chamber Orchestra, Op. 23, Dioskuroi - Concerto for Piano and String Orchestra, Op. 27, Suite No. 1 “Haffner” for Violin and Percussion Group, Op. 37.
Catalogue Number: 04W060
Description: The booklet notes make much of the fact that as a neurosurgeon and neuroscientist, in parallel with his full-time career as composer, Huber is uniquely positioned to craft works with certainty as to how they will produce effects in the human brain. Well, maybe. Certainly, these unusual concertante works are immensely enjoyable and satisfying, and one might be tempted to say that the composer’s control of tension and resolution, harmonically, rhythmically and expressively, and his knack for doing completely unexpected things and making them sound oddly familiar, are unusually accomplished. The "Enigma" subtitle of the violin concerto refers to Alan Turing's code-breaking machine, and by extension the way the work’s structure develops through the influence of components on those adjacent to them. Often the composer seems to be setting up expectations of a classical or romantic model, only to pull out the rug with a conjuror's sleight of hand to land on the "right"conclusion by the "wrong" route. The piano concerto, Dioskuroi, is "bipolar" in the sense of dividing things into opposites, as in black/white, good/bad, light/dark, the poles to which much human thought attempts to attract concepts, and the ones and zeros of computer binary. The result is a precarious balance between tonality and a kind of atonality that expresses itself as an elegant neoclassical dance of the two in a sort of bitonal balance. Haffner is a baroque-style suite in which the baroque-sounding material is treated in mambo, blues, bossa nova and samba styles, and yes, the result is as enjoyable as it sounds. As much as the composer makes up his own rules, the pieces make ample use of tonality and are more than approachable. Eszter Haffner (violin), Andrea Rucli (piano), Ferruccio Busoni Chamber Orchestra; Massimo Belli.