BRETT DEAN (b.1961): Viola Concerto, Komarov's Fall for Orchestra, Twelve Angry Men for 12 Cellos, Intimate Decisions for Solo Viola.
Catalogue Number: 08K101
Description: A longtime violist in the Berlin Philharmonic, Dean has written a substantial body of works with a subtext of social or political commentary. His concerto for his own instrument, while ostensibly 'pure music' seems likewise to carry some narrative of the individual in opposition to hostile forces; the middle movement is a relentless, high-energy scherzo diabolico, entitled 'pursuit'. The outer movements are relatively serene, the first a brief prologue, the finale carrying the narrative through uneasy tension to a kind of reconciliation. The other works make their extramusical inspiration more explicit: Twelve graphically depicts the antagonism between the lone voice and the crowd (as in the eponymous 1957 film). Decisions is an inner conversation, the soloist's thematic fragments entering and interacting like ideas generated, debated and worked into a larger understanding. Komarov is about the cosmonaut who was the first person to die in space, and makes use of vivid sonic imagery to depict space and the fragile machines launched into it. Throughout these works Dean's idiom is readily accessible, with a firm grounding in tonality, colorfully illuminated by a fertile orchestral technique, as well as, naturally enough, a thorough exploration of the potential of his instrument. Brett Dean (viola), Sydney Symphony Orchestra; Simone Young, Hugh Wolff (Komarov's Fall).