SEBASTIAN FAGERLUND (b.1972): Clarinet Concerto, Isola for Orchestra, Partita for String Orchestra and Percussion.
Catalogue Number: 07N102
Description: Fagerlund has an appealing, accessible style in which emotion and associative imagery play a large part. His vocabulary is very tonal, with echoes of Rautavaara and Aho, while a fondness for ostinato driven propulsion has something in common with Sallinen. The concerto suggests a cityscape, with bustling, popular elements, a hectic energy and episodes of slightly sinister nocturnal calm. The work is in four movements, with a technically formidable cadenza between the third and fourth. Partita turns out to be a work on mystical themes, divided into movements entitled 'Ceremony', 'Resonance' and 'Prayer'. The imagery here is rather dark, dwelling on the transitory nature of life in the manner of 'vanity' still-life paintings, with dissonant string textures alternating with episodes of nervous, edgy motoric music punctuated by bell sounds (very Sallinen, these - think of The Red Line or the Fourth Symphony). A similar feeling of 'Memento mori' pervades Island, which similarly alternates passages of violent dramatic momentum with others that suggest the symbolism of 'The Isle of the Dead' in music, painting and mythology. Christoffer Sundqvist (clarinet), Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra; Dima Slobodeniouk. SACD hybrid