HAFLIDI HALLGRÍMSSON (b.1941): Notes from a diary, Op. 33, BENJAMIN BRITTEN (1913-1976): Lachrymae.
Catalogue Number: 05O081
Reference: SMK 61
Description: The 'diary' of Hallgrímsson's title refers both to that of Ann Frank and the 'diary' of sounds and themes that emerged in the composer's imagination as a result of his experience visiting the house where she hid from the Nazis. While visiting the museum, the composer heard the sound of the bell of the neighboring church, that was also heard by the terrified hidden family, and this, in several senses resonant, sound made a profound impression on Hallgrímsson. Bell sounds in the piano part occur throughout the fifteen short movements that make up the whole; sometimes harsh, clamorous and threatening, sometimes clear, penetrating, demanding of attention; at others a consoling carillon, providing a reassuring stability in a frighteningly unstable world. The dark-toned viola seems to provide an introspective commentary on the external world represented by the piano; the instrument's part traverses many moods, from sombre reflection and elegiac sadness to anxiety and agitation. The cumulative effect of these musical diary entries is more than a little disturbing - while seldom despairing, the music has an appropriately claustrophobic atmosphere and at ties a painful, brooding intensity. A powerful work of considerable emotional heft, and a testament to the power of music to communicate and evoke the deepest emotional responses to the human condition. Hallgrímsson's idiom is thoroughly accessible and has strong foundations in tonality, with a wide-ranging harmonic and timbral vocabulary. The well-chosen coupling is entirely appropriate in mood and idiom. Thórunn Ósk Marinósdóttir (viola), Steinunn Birna Ragnarsdóttir (piano).