GUILLAUME CONNESSON (b.1970): Cosmic Trilogy for Orchestra (Aleph, Une lueur dans l'âge sombre and Supernova), The Shining One for Piano and Orchestra.

Catalogue Number: 02L107

Label: Chandos

Reference: 5076

Format: CD

Price: $18.98

Description: The Cosmic Trilogy was composed as three separate works over a decade, revised into a symphonic structure between 2007 and last year. Aleph is a lively cosmic dance, suggesting the outpouring of energy resulting from the creation of the universe; 'A glimmer in the age of darkness' is the work's slow movement, shimmering, gentle and melodic; the cumulative grandeur of Supernova depicts, first as from unimaginable distance, then amidst the scintillating energy of fragmented particles, the explosive death of a star. Connesson's vocabulary is an amalgam of impressionism in his richly textured orchestral color, and romantic-minimalism of the John Adams type, pulsative and dynamic, less repetitive than Glass or Reich, absorbed into a personal vocabulary not dissimilar to that of Escaich or Bacri. Shades of tonal, early or neoclassical Stravinsky are also significant. The music is boldly descriptive, at times almost cinematic ; the composer's rhythmic dynamism in the work's depictions of the dance of cosmic energies is thrilling. The brief piano concerto The Shining One based on a Jules Vernesque 1912 fantasy novel by Abraham Merritt consists of three movements, fast-slow-fast. The outer dancelike, quasi-minimalistically propulsive movements, with echoes of Prokofiev and Shostakovich in the angular, incisive piano writing frame a songful slow movement, somewht reminiscent of Rachmaninov, all in the same attractively varied tonal vocabulary as the Trilogy. Eric Le Sage (piano), Royal Scottish National Orchestra; Stéphane Denève. SACD hybrid.


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