CHRISTIAN JOST (b.1963): Berlinsymphony (Konzerthausorchester Berlin; Iván Fischer), Lover-Skysong (Annika Treutler [piano], Arnulf Ballhorn [bass guitar], Josie Lin [percussion], Deutsches Kammerorchester Berlin; Christian Jost]).
Catalogue Number: 07S007
Label: Berlin Classics
Description: These recent pieces are probably the most immediately appealing of Jost's works that we've offered - not that the others, with their energy and rich, tonality-based vocabulary have been in any way inaccessible. The symphony, in four linked movements, is a portrait of the composer's native city. Throughout, the piece has an inexorable, propulsive momentum; the city throbs with energy, even in the background of its stillest nocturnal streets and squares. Harmonically original and appealing, the work is very tonal yet with a broad palette of dissonant coloration inflecting its post-minimalist neo-romanticism. The first two and final movements are active, pulsating, increasingly hectic and driven. As the piece progresses the saxophone that has been an important coloristic part of the texture emerges as a concertante companion on a ramble through the city's nightscape, now calm, now brooding and slightly sinister, now turbulent. The slow third section finds this instrument in its element, with the competing sounds of jazz clubs, nightclubs and every kind of nocturnal activity blending in a gorgeously textured cacophony. Lover-Skysong is an ecstatic entreaty for a love that will transcend the bounds of time, in a musical idiom that crosses genre boundaries to a degree. The first section is a gentle mediitation for strings in Pärt-like new spirituality style. The second is very different, beginning with a sultry, jazz-club feel, and progressing into propulsionist mode full of passionate pulsation - a rather more sensuous, physical and modern love story than that suggested by part one (or the declaration of eternal love in the ancient Chinese poem Shang Ye, on which the piece is based). The end returns to the material and mood of the opening section.