DAVID GOMPPER (b.1954): Cello Concerto, Double Bass Concerto, Moonburst.
Catalogue Number: 12W055
Description: Gompper has positioned himself as a leading contemporary proponent of the traditional concerto genre - virtuoso soloist firmly in the foreground, with a varied and characterful orchestral contribution (in Gompper's case, colorfully and vividly orchestrated) forming an essential part of the musical argument. Many of his recent works, including these three, are based on an intervallic sequence derived from a mathematical series that produces a graphical star-shape, which he calls the Sunburst Series; his idiom is expressed in tonal harmony and the works are entirely approachable, though there is a sense of escaping the pull of tonal gravity, reminiscent of Nørgård's Infinity Series or Eliasson's harmonic modality based on a spiraling series of fifths (without sounding much like either). The concerti are in two sections, binary opposites in character. The first movement of the Cello Concerto is frantically, relentlessly active, with incessant solo pyrotechnics; the second, entitled "Lethe" is dreamlike and otherworldly, with much creative writing in harmonics. The Double Bass Concerto opposes darkness and light - specifically as witnessed during a solar eclipse. The active, dynamic first movement dramatically depicts the encroachment of the moon's shadow on the sun's disc, with the emergence of scintillas of light as the final darkness falls; a still central section, for the totality of the eclipse with its eerily visible auras and distant flares, transitioning into the gradual, breathless return of the light. Moonburst is a nocturne, evoking mystery from transformations of the Sunburst matrix, and containing fleeting, occult rquotations from 'lunar' works by Schönberg and Debussy. Timothy Gill (cello), Volkan Orhon (double bass),Royal Philharmonic Orchestra; Emmanuel Siffert.