BORIS TISHCHENKO (b.1939): Concerto for Violin, Piano and String Orchestra, Dante-Symphony No. 3 "Hell: Circles 7-9".
Catalogue Number: 01J078
Label: Fuga Libera
Description: The double concerto is a fine example of Tishchenko at his most distinctive - which is to say, unashamedly and unavoidably following the tradition of his illustrious teacher, Shostakovich while incorporating sufficient modernistic elements to exert a degree of freedom from that tradition and establish himself as a member of the following generation. Establishing the importance of the soloists' roles from the outset, the work begins like a chamber composition, gradually bringing in the orchestra, until the first movement's climax explodes in direct conflict between orchestral violence and soloistic bravura, the pianist resorting to clusters to retaliate against the ensemble's attempt to annihilate the opposition. There follows a lively rondo, very indebted to Shostakovich's characteristic scherzi, then a somber interlude. The final movement is an unexpected, almost incongruous romance, which undermines its sickly-sweetness with just enough dissonance to proclaim it an ironic statement. The symphony is the third part of the cycle of five symphonies corresponding to episodes in Dante's 'Commedia', depicting the lowest circles of hell. The influence of Shostakovich is again writ large (the opening suggests that somehow Hamlet and the fornicating couple in the infamous scene so delightfully described by one contemporary critic as 'pornophony' in Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk have ended up in the same predicament). The Dies Irae also puts in a number of appearances, as one might be forgiven for expecting. Throughout, the work graphically illustrates the vivid imagery of the text, flames, demons, the moans of the tormented and all. Big, bold and somewhat garish; a Technicolor Inferno, thoroughly enjoyable on its own terms. Victoria Postinikova (piano), Alexander Rozhdestvensky (violin), String Orchestra of St. Petersburg, Moscow Symphony Orchestra; Gennadi Rozhdestvensky.