MARCUS PAUS (b.1979): A Portrait of Zhou for Flute and Orchestra (Tom Ottar Andreassen [flute], Norwegian Radio Orchestra; Ingar Bergby, Love’s Last Rites for Violin and Strings (Henning Kraggerud [violin], Arctic Chamber Orchestra, Shostakovich In Memoriam for Cello and Strings (Ole Erik Ree [cello], Oslo Camerata), Marble Songs for Oboe d’Amore (Jan Bertelsen).
Catalogue Number: 11T070
Label: Sheva Collection
Reference: SH 174
Description: Paus has a very approachable style, strongly tonal and emotionally vivid, sometimes to the point of wearing its heart on its fulsomely Romantic sleeve, for better or worse. The pieces in this varied cross-section of his output all have some programmatic or extramusical impetus. The searing work in memory of Shostakovich is intense and limned in the darkest of hues, using only the notes of Shostakovich's musical monogram, variously arranged and orchestrated. The Portrait is of a young Chinese monk, in three movements; dreamily lyrical, meditative and energetically dancing. Elements of Chinoiserie are invoked through pentatonic melodies and playing techniques that emulate traditional Chinese instruments. Paus doesn't specify why Love's Last Rites "became one of my most personal and confessional works", but its blend of sentiment, sadness and mutedly passionate regret, in an elegiac 'Valse triste' mood certainly suggests some deep underlying significance for the composer, and makes this an especially poignant work. Marble Songs refers to the calm, dispassionate fluid contours of the neoclassical marble human statues of Håkon Anton Fagerås in music of poised elegance, and Vita similarly depicts the ornate mausoleum of Emanuel Vigeland, with its sculptures and explicit murals of love, passion, death and rebirth - the artist's celebration of life - in an ornate work that hints at the solemnity and resonance of Bach's works for solo violin.