BRITTA BYSTRÖM (b.1972): Infinite Rooms for Violin/Viola, Double Bass and Orchestra, for Viola and Double Bass: A Walk to Schubert, A Walk to Bruckner, A Walk to Strauss, JESPER NORDIN (b.1971): Piano Trio, EDUARD TUBIN (1905-1982): Concerto for Double Bass and Orchestra, CARIN MALMLÖF-FORSSLING (1916-2005): In memoriam transcr. Double Bass.
Catalogue Number: 07X061
Format: SACD hybrid
Description: Byström's exhilarating half-hour double concerto derives its inspiration from the infinitely replicating mirror installations by Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama. In each of the seven sections of the work, a "figure" or "object" in the form of a gestural thematic cell is presented by the soloist’s, and immediately begins to proliferate and effloresce. The orchestra increasingly takes up the material in an "infinity room" peculiar to each originating object, multiplying the original image in textures of increasing profusion of instrumental texture, swirling and glittering like a dizzying tapestry of infinite design. The degree to which the music mirrors (sorry!) its physical origins is uncanny; the composition seems light-drenched, free of the earthbound weight of solid physical objects, whether the reflections are those of flageolet playing multiplied by whistling, bent notes amplified by wide-ranging swoops, flickering points of pizzicato light, a wild confusion of deceiving duplicates, or an expansive vista as though the mirror world has broken its boundaries to reflect endless cloudscapes in still expanses of water. Byström's idiom is firmly oriented in tonality, however exuberantly her dazzling light show draws on sonoristic innovations. Her three "Walks" are cleverly conceived as encores for the concerto (the standard repertoire being sadly deficient in brief duos for violin/viola and contrabass), which, over a walking bass line, ingeniously introduce quotations from the following work in the program (this is an expanding series of 20-odd works thus far). Tubin's superb, deeply satisfying concerto is cut from the same cloth as his wonderful ostinato-driven, full-bloodedly neo-romantic symphonies whose appearance on disc in the 1980s were in the vanguard of recordings of 20th century Nordic tonal symphonies, courtesy of Neeme Järvi and BIS. The first movement, with its propulsive syncopated ostinati, sultry second subject, and ebulliently triumphant conclusion, transitions into a gorgeously lyrical slow movement, which unexpectedly accumulates a powerful marching momentum, leading to a huge climax. This abruptly stops, and the cadenza, a long, eloquent soliloquy, lent extraordinary gravitas by the stentorian tones of the solo instrument, ensues. The finale briskly marches toward the work’s conclusion, spirited, good-humored and increasingly excitable. Nordin's trio is the composer’s transcription of his double concerto (violin and cello), which appears not to have made it to disc in its original form. The work is powerful and tough, more obviously "modern" than the other works here, its basis a Swedish folk tune which has been computer processed into entirely new material in spectralist sonorities and microtonal harmony, reflecting the non-equal temperaments of folk music. The music is dark and archaically mythic in mood, by no means unapproachable and with its folk origins clearly emerging in the final section. Rick Stotijn (double bass), Malin Broman (viola), Västerås Sinfonietta; Simon Crawford-Phillips. Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra; James Gaffigan (Tubin).