Magnus Lindberg: Clarinet Concerto; Gran Duo; Chorale

Magnus Lindberg: Clarinet Concerto; Gran Duo; Chorale

by Kari Kriikku
     
 

It's often noted that Finland seems to be producing more world-class composers per capita than just about any other country. Magnus Lindberg certainly comes near the top of the list of today's eminent Finns, and while some of his most talented contemporaries have left their homeland -- Kaija Saariaho for Paris, Esa-Pekka Salonen for Los Angeles -- Lindberg remains… See more details below

Overview

It's often noted that Finland seems to be producing more world-class composers per capita than just about any other country. Magnus Lindberg certainly comes near the top of the list of today's eminent Finns, and while some of his most talented contemporaries have left their homeland -- Kaija Saariaho for Paris, Esa-Pekka Salonen for Los Angeles -- Lindberg remains strongly connected to his nation even as his international profile has risen sharply. Without making facile connections between the robust force of his music and the harshness of Finland's climate or the isolation of its landscape (which might not be so far-fetched, if you think of another fellow Finn, Jean Sibelius), Lindberg's place in the country's musical life has allowed him to work closely with astonishing musicians like Kari Kriikku, the soloist for whom Lindberg's Clarinet Concerto was written. Premiered in 2002, the Concerto is the longest and the most recent of the three 21st-century pieces included on this disc, which took home one of the prestigious 2006 Gramophone Awards. It's hard to think of another work for the clarinet that's both so demanding for the soloist and so fascinating for the listener. The warmth of Kriikku's tone is as marvelous as his technique, and over the course of this 25-minute concerto, you'll have heard him do just about anything a clarinet can do, all the while driving Lindberg's propulsive form progressively toward its exciting conclusion. Filling out the disc's second half, Lindberg's Gran Duo is a spiky, Stravinskian essay that pits woodwinds against brass en route to a final, harmonious reconciliation, while the brief Chorale takes its initial cues from Bach before building up a richly layered sound that might best be described as Lindbergian. Perhaps more than anything else, Lindberg is a master of orchestration -- or rather, of simply making an orchestra sound spectacular -- and the Finnish Radio Symphony, under Sakari Oramo's direction, is superbly suited to fulfilling the composer's intentions, making this album an essential document of Finnish music at its finest.

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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Blair Sanderson
Even though Magnus Lindberg's music is densely textured, highly varied, and unpredictable, and as complex, dissonant, and explosive as the wildest avant-garde music, it is often surprisingly pleasant, accessible, and exciting, particularly so in the kaleidoscopic and insanely colorful "Clarinet Concerto" (2002). This spectacular piece may serve as the best introduction to Lindberg's extremely virtuosic, multilayered music, especially because the focus on a single line instrument clarifies many of Lindberg's procedures and ideas -- which can often seem buried in his thicker orchestral works -- and highlights them in vivid relief against the elaborate and lush accompaniment. In this meticulously wrought setting, clarinetist Kari Kriikku virtually floats above the orchestra without any sense of gravity or technical difficulty, and the Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Sakari Oramo, sounds richly Straussian and sumptuous in this performance. The "Gran Duo for 13 winds and 11 brass" (2000) is imaginatively scored and contrapuntally inventive, but in its neo-Classical detachment -- reminiscent of Stravinsky's wind music at its most austere and "objective" -- it may be regarded as an acquired taste; and with the rather Hindemithian and dense "Chorale" (2001-2002), these filler pieces may not be judged as representative of Lindberg's work at its most interesting or inviting. Ondine's sound is exceptionally vivid and realistic.

Product Details

Release Date:
10/18/2005
Label:
Ondine
UPC:
0761195103821
catalogNumber:
1038
Rank:
102041

Related Subjects

Tracks

  1. Clarinet Concerto  - Magnus Lindberg  -  Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra  - Reijo Kiilunen  - Kari Kriikku  -  Sakari Oramo
  2. Gran Duo, for 13 winds & 11 brass  - Magnus Lindberg  -  Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra  - Reijo Kiilunen  -  Sakari Oramo
  3. Chorale  - Magnus Lindberg  -  Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra  - Reijo Kiilunen  -  Sakari Oramo

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