Peteris Vasks: Symphony No. 3; Cello Concerto

Peteris Vasks: Symphony No. 3; Cello Concerto

by John Storgårds
     
 

This SACD offers two of Latvian composer Peteris Vasks' most important large-scale works, his "Third Symphony" (2004-2005) and his "Cello Concerto" (1993-1994). One aspect of Vasks' largely tonal music that takes some getting used to, particularly in the symphony, is the fact that there are rarely more than two things going on at the same time, and generally, one of… See more details below

Overview

This SACD offers two of Latvian composer Peteris Vasks' most important large-scale works, his "Third Symphony" (2004-2005) and his "Cello Concerto" (1993-1994). One aspect of Vasks' largely tonal music that takes some getting used to, particularly in the symphony, is the fact that there are rarely more than two things going on at the same time, and generally, one of these events is a fairly static harmonic background. The result is music whose most striking attributes are its simplicity, atmospheric coloring, and melody. This near-absence of counterpoint also gives the music a monumentality that could be perceived as stolid and blocky, if it were not for the composer's colorful orchestration and skill at creating momentum with very simple elements. The single-movement symphony is written in four sections played without breaks. Its lack of traditional motivic development is offset by the composer's creation of distinctive melodies and textures that reassuringly reoccur. Perhaps its most surprising moment is its juxtaposition of a quotation from Arvo Pärt's "Fratres" with persistent repetitions of the opening of Beethoven's "Fifth Symphony." Toward the end of the last section, the composer unleashes an uncharacteristic welter of ideas that subside into the quietness of a single line played by an alto flute. The "Cello Concerto," which the composer describes as having been inspired by the suffering and perseverance of the Lithuanian people, is in five movements, with moments of serenity alternating with agitation. Here, the additional line of the cello increases the music's textural complexity, making it more conventional and accessible than the symphony. Cellist Marko Ylönen plays with a resonant tone and conveys both the turbulence and lyrical tranquility of the concerto. John Storgårds leads the Tampere Philharmonic Orchestra in committed and crisp performances of both works. The sound quality is remarkably clear and present.

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Product Details

Release Date:
11/21/2006
Label:
Ondine
UPC:
0761195108659
catalogNumber:
1086
Rank:
87538

Tracks

  1. Symphony No. 3  - Peteris Vasks  - Eduardo Nestor Gomez  - Reijo Kiilunen  - John Storgårds  -  Tampere Philharmonic Orchestra
  2. Concerto for cello & orchestra  - Peteris Vasks  - Eduardo Nestor Gomez  - Reijo Kiilunen  - John Storgårds  -  Tampere Philharmonic Orchestra  - Marko Ylönen

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