PETER EÖTVÖS (b.1944): DoReMi (Violin Concerto No. 2), Cello Concerto Grosso, Speaking Drums.
Catalogue Number: 06R067
Description: For the inauguration of a new concert hall in 2014, Radio France presented a concert celebrating Eötvös' 70th birthday in which he featured as composer and conductor, from which these three recent (2010 - 2013) concerti are taken. The cello concerto is a triangular dialogue between soloist, the orchestral cellos as concertante group and the orchestra. Structurally and in interaction between soloist and orchestra this is the closest to a 'conventional' concerto here. The first movement is lively and dance-like, with elements of folk rhythms and playing techniques. This transitions without pause into a plaintively lyrical, nocturnal slow movement with some strikingly original timbres and orchestration. The finale is lively, full of unexpected twists and turns and refined, ingenious orchestral writing. DoReMi is the composer's second violin concerto, a more playful work than the first (07R061), written in memory of the astronauts who died in the Columbia disaster. Aside from paying tribute to the soloist for whom the work was written both via a punning almost-anagram in the title and a restlessly busy, virtuosic solo part, the piece sets up a sort of puppet-show tussle for supremacy and influence between the most basic of building blocks, the first three notes of the C major scale in solfège. This fragment occurs throughout, sometimes with the central note sidling up to one or other of its companions through pitch inflections, or detuned, or dressed up in every possible instrumental guise. The piece is almost a concerto for orchestra with constant filigree violin obbligato, so much does its drama depend on the exquisitely detailed orchestral argument. Speaking Drums begins with simple rhythmic fragments from the percussionist, both as spoken isolated syllables from a poem by Sándor Weöres and played on instruments. Gradually the two begin to imitate each other, and the orchestra enters with colorful commentary in Eötvös' familiar recent updated-Bartók vocabulary, an harmonically stabilising influence on the predominantly rhythmic and vocally raucous solo part. The animated dialogue between drums and voice gives new meaning to the term 'virtuoso' and the piece abounds in lively humor; contemporary music at its most unbuttoned. Midori (violin), Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France; Peter Eötvös.