MARK-ANTHONY TURNAGE (b.1960): On Opened Ground for Viola and Orchestra (Lawrence Power [viola], Markus Stenz [conductor]), Texan Tenebrae, Riffs and Refrains for Clarinet and Orchestra (Michael Collins [clarinet], Marin Alsop [conductor]), Lullaby for Hans for String Orchestra, Mambo, Blues and Tarantella for Violin and Orchestra (Christian Tetzlaff [violin], Vladimir Jurowski [conductor]).
Catalogue Number: 11O084
Description: On Opened Ground is a work of considerable lyricism, avoiding the jazz/rock influences common in Turnage's works, especially of earlier years, though with a certain confrontational aspect and characteristic boldness of gesture. The first movement of Riffs has a lively, explosive urgency, and brassy stabbing chords seem distantly related to big band idioms, and the sultry melodies of the second movement have a certain popular lilt, though comparisons with Bernstein and neoclassical Stravinsky are just as valid. The more recent Mambo... declares its intentions in its title, the first movement being syncopated, vigorous and percussive; the second evoking the spirit of the blues in its mournful lyricism; and the finale a lively dance based on fragments of tarantella rhythm. Texan Tenebrae is related to Turnage's opera on the life and death of Anna Nicole Smith, and consists of a series of episodes of extrovert mourning, incorporating a reference to Mahler's Kindertotenlieder; the Lullaby is an 80th birthday tribute to Henze, a gently drifting sequence of bittersweet harmonies in a broadly tonal idiom, like all the pieces here. London Philharmonic Orchestra.