HAFLIDI HALLGRÍMSSON (b.1941): Herma for Cello and String Orchestra, Op. 17, Ombra for Viola and String Orchestra, Op. 27, Rima for Soprano and String Orchestra, Op. 15.
Catalogue Number: 08K094
Reference: SMK 38
Description: Having had a distinguished career as cellist in several major European orchestras, Hallgrimsson, not surprisingly, writes for strings with extraordinary originality and fluency. Herma is a rhapsodic stream of consciousness, with the soloist constantly present and required to run the gamut of instrumental technique. Textures are dense, but never obscure; despite the multiple stop and glissandoing chords, the constantly shifting harmonic backdrop provided by the ensemble, the general impression is of tonality, and of a rather consonant, conflict-free type at that. Ombra suggests a subtle, continuously evolving interplay of light and shadow, the soloist in continuous relief against a multiply voiced orchestral backdrop in continuous fluid motion. Rima is a nocturnal piece, setting poems of Michelangelo. As in the other works, the orchestra (with cello soloist pre-empting and shadowing the voice) introduces waves of slow-moving, organic texture, over which the soprano intones the vocal line in dreamlike, suspenseful narrative. Torleif Thedéen (cello), Thórunn Ósk Marinósdóttir (viola), Ragnhild Heiland Sørensen (soprano), Reykjavík Chamber Orchestra; Berharthur Wilkinson.