"Oceanic" - BERND RICHARD DEUTSCH (b.1977) - Okeanos for Organ and Orchestra : ERIKS EŠENVALDS (b.1977) - “Voice of the Ocean”, (World Premiere Recording) : MAURICE RAVEL "Une barque sur l'ocean” : JEAN SIBELIUS “The Oceanides”. Iveta Apkalna, Stavanger Symphony Orchestra, Andris Poga
Catalogue Number: 05Y035
Label: Berlin Classics
Description: The new album "Oceanic" by Iveta Apkalna is a collection of two expansive organ works and two orchestral interludes with maritime connotations, showcasing Apkalna's special relationship with the sea as a musician who grew up on the Baltic. The album features Bernd Richard Deutsch's "Okeanos," which Iveta Apkalna describes as the best contemporary organ concerto. This, you can judge for yourself, but it is certainly a most impressive work. Firmly grounded in tonality, its four technicolor movements depict the four classical elements, beginning with Water. Beginning with appropriately fluid textures, the first movement illustrates many moods of the ocean, including, of course, its storms, with organ and percussion contributing monumental swells and mighty crashing waves. The second movement, "Air" is the work’s scherzo, with a rapid minimalistic pulse introduced by the organ. "Earth" is the massive, weighty slow movement, beginning with colossal eruptive cluster chords, the earth birthing mountains in volcanic violence. The slow, mysterious central section evokes caves and the frozen structures of solidified magma. After an even more cataclysmic eruption in unrestrained clusters, the finale, "Fire" begins, flickering and dancing, flames shooting skyward in incandescent tornadoes and gouts of lava. These are nature’s most devastating conflagrations, far beyond human scale; percussion and organ contribute explosively to the full orchestra's unstoppable, fiery juggernaut as it crashes toward a spectacular conclusion. Ešenvalds' Voice of the Ocean is similarly quasi-symphonic, in three movements, but a more explicitly tonal, neo-Romantic idiom, similar to that of his St Luke Passion (06R080), with its sumptuous orchestration and opulent, surging Romantic climaxes alongside gorgeously ethereal timbres. After a dramatic introduction, the first movement flows and swells like the motion of many waters; the second is a tranquil dialogue of the wind and the sea, and the Maestoso finale is an imposing, dramatic, stormy seascape which ultimately subsides into an extended, becalmed epilogue. The album also includes Maurice Ravel's "Une barque sur l'océan," a key work of musical Impressionism, and Jean Sibelius's "The Oceanides," a personal "Rondo of the Waves".