IVO MALEC (b.1925): Epistola for Soloists, Choir and Orchestra, Arc-en-cello for Cello and Orchestra.
Catalogue Number: 05K087
Description: The impressively powerful Epistola sets a 16th century text by a Croatian poet, imploring the Pope for a call to unity in the face of invasion and inhumanity. The sentiments of this letter struck a contemporary chord in the composer, who responded with a setting of great dramatic force and amply utilized resources. The narrative is primarily conveyed by the floridly eloquent soloists, whose material and accompaniment is grounded in an extended kind of tonality, against a dark and dramatic backdrop of sonorous orchestral and choral material of an altogether more jaggedly modernistic idiom. The juxtaposition of harsh mechanistic percussion and glissando clusters with the pleading human voices underlines the urgency and desperation of the text and its contemporary implications. The sumptuously sonorous cello concerto, with its richly textured glissandi, somewhat recalls Penderecki's first concerto for the instrument, though Malec's idiom is less overtly avant-garde (though there are some impressive cluster tutti), the overall tone of the piece less dark, some sequences extravagantly, if hectically, playful. Latin-English texts. Ilia Laporev (cello), Claudia Barainsky (soprano), Marjana Lipovsek (mezzo), Robin Leggate (tenor), Ralf Lukas (bass), Czech Philharmonic Choir, Brno, Luxembourg Philharmonic Orchestra; Emmanuel Krivine.