DANIEL BÖRTZ (b.1943): Backanterna (The Bacchae).
Catalogue Number: 10N077
Reference: CAP 22028:-12
Description: Börtz's collaboration with Ingmar Bergman on this adaptation of Euripides' 'Bacchae' is, even more than the 'Oresteia' (03J084) (Börtz likes his complicated Greek dramas) a big, old-fashioned grand opera - in the very best sense. The tonal roots of the composer's idiom reach back into the 19th century, with explicit references to Wagner and Bruckner, via Busoni, Shostakovich and the Nordic symphonists of the 20th century. This is not to suggest a conservatively reactionary æsthetic; dissonance, even clusters, recorded sound effects and electronic augmentation of the chorus have their place, but as dramatic accents in a thoroughly tonal vocabulary. Particular attention has been paid to the vocal parts, which are strongly differentiated and characterized, stylistically varying between intense romantic lyricism (the predominant style overall) and sprechstimme and isolated instances of spoken dialogue. Aside from this meticulous attention to vocal detail, the work's most striking feature is the way it constantly returns to passages and gestures of ravishing tonal lushness and full-scale romantic emotional drama, reminding us that, appropriately contextualized, the tenets of Romantic art are far from played out. 2 CDs. Swedish-English libretto. Sylvia Lindenstrand (mezzo), Laila Andersson-Palme, Anita Soldh (soprano), Sten Wahlund, Petter Mattei (baritones), The Royal Orchestra; Kjell Ingebretsen.