LEIF SEGERSTAM (b.1944): Symphony No. 288 “Letting the FLOW go on...”, JOHANNES BRAHMS (1833-1897): Symphony No. 1 in C Minor, Op. 68.
Catalogue Number: 08S050
Reference: ABCD 390
Format: SACD hybrid
Description: Let us try to lay to rest for once and for all the notion that there is somehow 'something wrong' with Segerstam's compositional output because he has now exceeded three hundred symphonies, most of which are designed to play for about the duration of Sibelius 7, his 'free-pulsative' scores are sequences of gestures to be performed with a degree of flexibility in co-ordination, and because of his, let us call them 'idiosyncratic' statements about the compositional process. On the one hand, on its own terms it all makes perfectly good sense, and on the other, the music is unfailingly impressive and teeming with inspired ideas. These are sometimes clearly derived from the vast orchestral repertory that Segerstam knows inside out as conductor - the kaleidoscopic collage of No. 288 includes several such, including (as ususal) some marvellous moments of arrival at Sibelian points of inflection. The general flavor of Segerstam's vocabulary suggests a kind of Burroughsian cut-up and fold-in of material by Nørgård, Pettersson and other post-Sibelius Nordic symphonists in whose granitic soundworld Segerstam's music clearly belongs. The accompanying Brahms 1 is characteristically magisterial, but also exquisitely nuanced, every detail judged to a nicety; typical of the conductor, this provides insight into the composer's control over his tumultuous outpouring of inspiration and the level of respect that both creator and interpreter deserve. Turku Philharmonic Orchestra; Leif Segerstam.