PÉTER EÖTVÖS (b.1944): Seven for Violin and Orchestra (Akiko Suwanai [violin]), CAP-KO for Acoustic Piano, Keyboard and Orchestra (Pierre-Laurent Aimard [piano], Göteborg Symphony Orchestra), Levitation for 2 Clarinets, String Orchestra and Accordion (Richard Hosford, John Bradbury [clarinet], BBC Symphony Orchestra).
Catalogue Number: 07R061
Label: Budapest Music Center
Reference: BMC CD 170
Description: Eötvös' concerti typically have a sense of theatre, and draw inspiration from extramusical sources. That is certainly true of the three works here, written in consecutive years in the mid-2000s. The violin concerto, Seven, is a moving tribute to the astronauts who died in the Columbia tragedy of 2003. The work begins with a series of accompanied cadenzas depicting the seven personalities. The longer second part contains an abundance of theatrical gestures that depict in acoustical terms the strange environment of space travel, the looming disaster and the rising psychological tension surrounding the disaster. The number seven is an integral structural element of the piece and its instrumentation. Levitation is a lighter work, based on a recurring dream of the composer's, about floating through the air. The clarinets - in different tunings, producing strange multiphonic discords - weave airy gestures above the solid background textures of the ensemble and accordion (not harmonica as the booklet would have us believe). The piece draws on sounds from science fiction and the imitation of electronic effects, and ends with a humorous and lively homage to Stravinsky's Petrushka. CAP-KO is a tribute to Bartók and contains many Bartókian gestures and almost-quotations. The soloist plays a MIDI-enabled keyboard capable of doubling the line played at variable intervals, producing a kind of hyper-virtuosic extension of a characteristic two-part Bartók keyboard texture. Peter Eötvös (conductor)