JOHN ROBERTSON (b.1943): Symphony No. 3, Op. 71, Trumpet Concerto, Op. 58, Concerto for Clarinet and Strings, Op. 27, Hinemoa & Tutanekai for Flute and Orchestra, Op. 22.
Catalogue Number: 05U066
Label: Navona Records
Description: More of this Australian-Canadian composer’s unabashedly Romantic, thoroughly tonal orchestral works. The Third Symphony, like the first two (08T058 and 07U063) is a substantial, three-movement work lasting about half an hour. The first movement opens mysteriously, with a motto theme over an oscillating, flowing accompaniment, first given out by the trumpet, with something of the mood of the beginning of Frantz Schmidt's 4th, and then passed around the orchestra. What sounds like a 'fate' motif not unrelated to similar ones by Beethoven and Tchaikovsky suddenly intrudes, which leads to a martial climax which may owe something to a notorious passage by Shostakovich. The opening material returns and the movement ends quietly. The scherzo is boisterous and effervescent, with a trio with a lyrical theme which makes a second appearance as the movement is winding down, before an unexpected coda in the form of a brass chorale based on the opening motto theme. The finale flows along on a stream of semiquavers, almost always present, its theme negotiating a series of Beethovenian or Haydnesque stops and starts, endings that aren’t, and unexpected changes of mood. The Trumpet Concerto of 2013 combines neoclassical elegance and clarity with inflections of Latin rhythms and melodic contour, reminiscent of the colorful character pieces of Robertson's Vallarta Suite (08T058). The Clarinet Concerto is a very Romantic work, centered on a gently autumnal slow movement. Hinemoa and Tutanekai is a concertante tone poem, gently recounting a Maori legend. Fernando Serrano Montoya (trumpet), Mihail Zhivkov (clarinet), Kremera Acheva (flute), Sofia Philharmonic Orchestra; Anthony Armoré.