Angeles Street Concerto: Michala Petri plays Thomas Koppel

Angeles Street Concerto: Michala Petri plays Thomas Koppel

by Michala Petri
     
 

The life story of Danish composer Thomas Koppel is not unlike that of many of his younger contemporaries. Born the son of eminent Danish composer Herman D. Koppel, Thomas Koppel's sense of independence as a classical pianist was so extreme that the Royal Danish Academy of Music failed him, and in revolt, he began the experimental rockSee more details below

Overview

The life story of Danish composer Thomas Koppel is not unlike that of many of his younger contemporaries. Born the son of eminent Danish composer Herman D. Koppel, Thomas Koppel's sense of independence as a classical pianist was so extreme that the Royal Danish Academy of Music failed him, and in revolt, he began the experimental rock group Savage Rose with his brother Anders Koppel and single-named vocalist Annisette, whom Thomas Koppel later married. Politically radical in the extreme and willfully fusing the boundaries of rock with jazz and classical music, Savage Rose became an institution in Denmark and a cause celèbre elsewhere among aficionados of underground rock music. Notwithstanding the popularity of Savage Rose, Koppel remained in the pursuit of contemporary composition, which became an overriding concern in the last 15 years of his life. Several of the pieces that Koppel wrote in this later period were composed for renowned Danish recorder player Michala Petri, and work on this DaCapo release featuring Petri, Los Angeles Street Concerto, was completed only three months before Koppel suddenly passed away at age 61. Koppel's "Moonchild's Dream" was recorded by Petri for RCA Victor in 1992, and it took three years for RCA to release it; disappointingly that recording didn't get a lot of attention in the U.S. Here it is heard in a transparent performance with the KREMERata BALTICA under Bo Holten. Koppel was an expert film and television composer, and when "Moonchild's Dream" begins, one might think "this is sort of like a concerto by R. Carlos Nakai scored by Michael Kamen." However, once past the introductory section, the listener is treated to a colorful, rich, and emotionally responsive palette of melodic ideas that are ordered into an effective and natural kind of psychological progression. This same approach to form is true of "Nele's Dances," a suite of 10 pieces, some very short, that all skillfully hook together in a way that suggests a longer, single-movement work. Scored for recorder and archlute, the latter played by Lars Hannibal, Koppel takes the arcane archlute out of its expected continuo context and approaches the instrument as if it were a cross between a guitar and a kantele. In "Los Angeles Street Concerto," Koppel stretches out a bit more musically. Although the beginning of the piece seems less than finished, parts of the remainder are reminiscent of Bartók's "night music." "Los Angeles Street Concerto" is more about the atmosphere of L.A. than of the street itself, and it is certainly not "street" in the hip-hop sense that many might take it. All of the musicianship on Los Angeles Street Concerto is top drawer, and Petri is at her best, sounding sweet without being excessively peppy or penetrating. With his dual citizenship within the fields of pop and classical and his pursuit of accessible and communicative, but not new-agey styles, Thomas Koppel appears to have been ahead of the curve in terms of developments in art music in the early twenty first century. It is a pity that, for the whim of fate, he will not be joining us to share its development henceforward, but Los Angeles Street Concerto is a terrific introduction in terms of Thomas Koppel's contribution to art music.

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Product Details

Release Date:
06/20/2006
Label:
Marco Polo
UPC:
0636943602126
catalogNumber:
8226021
Rank:
302633

Related Subjects

Tracks

  1. Concerto for recorder & orchestra ("Moonchild's Dream")  - Thomas Koppel  - Bo Holten  -  Copenhagen Philharmonic Orchestra  - Michala Petri  - Michala Petri  - Denise Burt
  2. Nele's Dances, for recorder & lute  - Thomas Koppel  - Michala Petri  - Michala Petri  - Lars Hannibal  - Denise Burt
  3. Los Angeles Street Concerto, for sopranino recorder, strings & celesta  - Thomas Koppel  - Bo Holten  - Michala Petri  - Michala Petri  -  Kremerata Baltica  - Denise Burt

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