Boston Symphony Orchestra CommissionsGEORGE TSONTAKIS (b.1951): Sonnets for English Horn and Orchestra, SEAN SHEPHERD (b.1979): Express Abstractionism, ERIC NATHAN (b.1983): the space of a door, TIMO ANDRES (b.1985): Everything Happens So Much.
Catalogue Number: 12V059
Description: These works, from 2016/2017 continue the orchestra's long-standing tradition of promoting new music. All are thoroughly approachable and based in tonality, diverse in style, and sophisticated and serious in expression. Nathan's piece is a powerful and exhilarating curtain raiser, a kind of concert overture in interconnected scenes, beginning with an imposing opening partially borrowed from Bartók. Still passages alternate with masses of quasi-aleatoric string texture, with a central, thrillingly propulsive episode. Tsontakis' work is effectively a full-scale concerto for cor anglé, taking its inspiration from four Shakespeare sonnets. Intimate as the poems may be, each contains some powerful emotional material and robust imagery, and each movement has its own climax, and in the case of the scherzo-like third movement, considerable momentum and sweep. Layers and swirls of activity for mysterious reasons lead to a kind of complex post-minimalism in Andres' piece. Shepherd responds to four important abstract artists in his four movement suite, with calm, shifting shapes of Calder mobiles juxtaposed with the flaring flamboyance of Gerhard Richter, the repeating but not repeating structures of Krasner and Kandinsky, and the calm consonant forms of Mondrian. Robert Sheena (english horn), Boston Symphony Orchestra; Andris Nelsons.