JOHANNA DODERER (b.1969): Symphony No. 2 “Bohinj” (w/Anne Schwanewilms [soprano]), Violin Concerto No. 2 “In Breath of Time”.
Catalogue Number: 11R008
Description: Doderer's symphony is a magnificent Romantic work on an epic scale. The title refers to a lake in Slovenia set in a landscape of imposing natural beauty. However, this beautiful place was also the location of the Isonzo Front during the First World War, and the composer incorporated her impressions of this tragic waste of life as commemorated in a war cemetery in the forest on the shores of the lake into the work. The huge first movement clearly depicts the mountains, forests and lake in music of well-nigh Mahlerian grandeur and scale. A martial motif invades the proceedings, however, and the music takes on a menacing, military aspect full of raw energy; the sort of thing Shostakovich did so well. These elements uneasily confront each other and the movement climaxes in a powerful quasi-chorale underpinned by propulsive ostinati texture reminiscent of Sallinen or Panufnik. The central movement returns to the Mahlerian mood; a specially written text inspired by inscriptions from the cemetery is sung over an exquisitely sad and atmospheric accompaniment. The heroic finale strives for resolution, its epic scope and scale encompassing reminiscences of Bruckner, Strauss, Mahler and at one point, unmistakably, Beethoven, rising to a grand peroration that confronts the future with hard-won hope. The concerto is a three-movement virtuoso vehicle dramatically condensed from an earlier dance piece with solo violin. The music ranges from impetuous to elegiacally lyrical, and the sense of a narrative thread is present in the succession of moods and dramatic episodes in a very tonal, instantly communicative idiom. Yury Revich (violin), German State Philharmonic Rheinland-Pfalz; Ariane Matiakh.