ANATOLIJUS ŠENDEROVAS (1945-2019): Concerto for Piano Trio and Symphony Orchestra, Concerto for Percussion and String Orchestra “… per Giunt”, Trio Grosso for Piano Trio and Chamber Orchestra, Chamber Symphony, Paratum cor meum… for Cello, Choir, Keyboard Instruments and Symphony Orchestra, David’s Cello for Cello and String Quartet, String Quartet No. 1, Der tiefe Brunnen for Voice, Flute, String Quartet andPercussion, Exodus for Saxophone, Accordion, String Quartet, Percussion and Trombone, String Quartet No. 2 with Harpsichord and Chimes, 4 Poems for Voice and String Quartet.

Catalogue Number: 10W053

Label: Dreyer-Gaido

Reference: 21123

Format: CD

Price: $33.98

Description: This immensely valuable set was issued in memory of the composer, who died last year. Šenderovas was an immensely versatile composer, unconstrained by any particular school or ideology, drawing from all over the compositional spectrum for the greatest expressive effect. The 1976 First Quartet is firmly in the mainstream 20th century mold, with considerable indebtedness to Shostakovich (who had recently died. The work is dedicated to his memory, and contains many prominent allusions to the DSCH motif). Not untypically of the composer, at one point the music emphasizes its spiritual dimension with an archaic church chorale, and there is also a tough, determined fugue. The Second Quartet (1986) is a stunningly original and gripping work. Broadly cut from the same cloth as the first, it covers a huge range of expressive territory, not least through the incorporation of chimes and an important harpsichord part into the work's many and varied textures. The quartet is cyclic, returning to its opening at the conclusion, though the material now takes on a completely different mood and implications. Along the way, the music suggests tintinnabulary minimalism (assisted by chimes and bells, of course), and the harpsichord contributes neo-baroque gestures (though it isn’t above developing them in modern harmonies, and in one telling climax, clusters). The work follows a clear dramatic arc in its single, concentrated span, traversing scenes of scampering gaiety, pained lament, intense dialogue, conflict and resolution, tension and release, wild excitement and glacial calm. A remarkable and unclassifiable work, Exodus for large ensemble entirely belies its relatively modest scale to present an epic account of the flight out of Egypt, beginning with a long passage of sonoristic and sonorous drone - present throughout the work in the background - over which foreground 'action', featuring nature sounds, melodies and harmonies in the modes of traditional Jewish music, and the sound of the Shofar are ‘projected' with cinematic clarity. The powerful Concerto for Piano Trio and Orchestra is an intense drama in one span, on a substantial scale. Unpredictable from the start, it begins as a piece of Romantic chamber music, but soon takes on a more aggressive modernist aspect, though still predominantly as a piano trio with orchestral reinforcement for added weight and colour. The first tutti, violent and turbulent, occurs almost 1/3 of the way through, introducing material that is taken up by the soloists, who then present the concerto's tragic, anguished ‘slow movement'. This develops into a beautiful, very tonal elegy for the solo group, their song continuing despite gathering stormclouds in the orchestra. Raucous fanfares and percussion introduce the 'finale', which begins as a titanic battle scene, intercut with unconnected melodic episodes from the trio, which is finally forced to join the fray, abruptly shutting everything down. From the stunned silence that follows, a magnificent, tonal resolution arises, the concertante group and orchestra finally speaking with one voice. The percussion concerto Per Giunt was written for percussionist Pavel Giunter, and has nothing to do with Ibsen, although the fact that the publisher needs to point this out suggests that the composer selected his title enjoying the expected confusion. It is a virtuoso vehicle in the best tradition of the genre, with a wide range of percussion instruments employed in episodes of thrilling rhythmic dynamism and the meditative sonorities of bells, playful scherzando whimsy and sonorous grandeur: very tonal and immensely enjoyable. The powerful, unconventional Trio Grosso - a modern take on the interplay between concertante group and tutti ensemble in the baroque form - rises from a shadowy, amorphous introduction - rainsticks suggesting some primeval forest - to arrive at a tonal resolution. The process repeats, leading to a more robust climax, and then the trio leads a declamatory introduction to the work's "slow movement", passionately lamenting in rich tonal harmonies. This eventually arrives at a lush, dark, highly chromatic late-late Romantic idiom and is immediately interrupted by the arrival of the finale, harsh and angular, in a rapid, stamping propulsive episode. The aggressive energy dissipates, and the work transitions into a sombre, mysterious coda. Paratum cor meum... , (My Heart is True, Lord) described as a "concerto for cello, choir, four keyboards and symphony orchestra" sets texts from the Psalms and the Book of Ecclesiastes as episodes in what is effectively a large-scale cello concerto. The immensely virtuosic cello part, requiring a vast range of technique and expression (it was written for the composer’s champion, David Geringas, of course), which is in the foreground almost throughout, plays the part of protagonist in a drama full of episodes of conflict and strife, in which the music becomes harsh and overwhelming, but also sections of great calm and beauty, when the choir enters with the Biblical passages, tonal but subtly dissonant. The range of compositional idioms that Šenderovas uses to tell this epic tale, from shrieking sonorism to towers of tonal magnificence, is truly extraordinary. The Chamber Symphony is an opulent orchestration - and harmonic enrichment, the work recomposed in places for a fuller effect - for strings of Šenderovas' 3rd String Quartet (06S074), a superb work, very tonal and largely avoiding the composer’s unique polystylistic tendencies. Everything we said about that release: "[Its] tautly integrated argument - and some distinctive gestures - are very reminiscent of Sibelius. The second section is [reminiscent] of Tapiola, and the end of the slow movement takes on an air of majestic landscape ..." is amplified in this version. David's Song was written for Geringas' 60th birthday, effectively to provide him with a 'party piece' to display his multifarious technical and, especially, expressive gifts as performer. No mere bagatelle, the quarter-hour piece traverses many moods and styles in quicksilver succession. Klaipėda Chamber Orchestra; Vytautas Lukočius, St. Christopher Chamber Orchestra; Donatas Katkus, Lithuanian Chamber Orchestra; David Geringas, Lithuanian National Symphony Orchestra; Modestas Pitrėnas and other performers.


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