ESA-PEKKA SALONEN (b.1958): Lachen Verlernt, ELLIOTT CARTER (b.1908): Four Lauds, JOHN ZORN (b.1953): Goetia, AUGUSTA READ THOMAS (b.1964): Pulsar.
Catalogue Number: 10L120
Reference: CDR 90000 113
Description: This recital of 21st-century (apart from the Carter) violin works was assembled by the soloist in the aftermath of 9/11, all of the pieces having some special significance in the aftermath of that tragedy. Salonen's powerful little drama takes its title from one of the poems in Pierrot Lunaire, a yearning to be able to laugh again. The music becomes increasingly frenetic and agitated, in complex ostinato-like patternings, paralleling the composer's thrilling and shattering orchestral Insomnia, written at the same time. Carter's four reminiscences of colleagues and friends - two memorials and two 80th birthday tributes - are typical of Carter's brief tribute pieces of recent years in that juxtaposition of contrasting material produces a sensation of more strands of independent material than are actually concurrently present. The pieces - in tribute to Copland, Petrassi, Sessions, and Robert Mann - are genial and charming, though not lacking in virtuosity. Thomas' short piece is marked 'Passionate, intense, driving', which is as good a description as any of this energetic rhapsody. Zorn's eight-movement Goetia was suggested by a highly formalized system of magical incantations, and each movement is based on the same pitch patterns, in various transformations. The result is a set of contrasting virtuosic modern études. The enhanced CD contains a video by video artist Tal Rosner which interprets Salonen's piece in dancing lines, geometric shapes and colored sparks, like a stripped-down, computer-assisted descendent of the Disney animators' interpretation of the Bach D Minor Toccata and Fugue in Fantasia. Jennifer Koh (violin).