HENNING KRAGGERUD (b.1973): Equinox - 24 Keys to a World Before It Slips Away.
Catalogue Number: 03W072
Description: This release affords, in a sense, the opportunity to hear this unusual and compelling work in complete form, as it was conceived and as it was performed at its première. We offered it before, as 09R078, which contained the musical sections only (73 minutes), but the work’s full narrative content is best appreciated in conjunction with the texts, which are programmatically illustrated with extraordinary vividness by the music (144 minutes). The work takes the unusual form of four 'concerti' each with six movements, moving through all the keys. In this case the movements are called 'postludes', and they are musical responses to little short stories by Jostein Gaarder, concerning a fantastical voyage through the time zones, starting at the Greenwich meridian, by a narrator facing the existential crisis of a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s, hence the subtitle's reference to "a world before it slips away". The stories are uncomplicatedly written, yet work on different levels of meaning and contain hidden depths of psychological and philosophical resonance, each one beginning with an observation on the phenomenon and history of longitude and progressing to an anecdote full of symbolism (and pathos) set at the geographical location corresponding to the position on the globe. These texts are delivered (in English for the first time; Gaarder read them in Norwegian on previous occasions), or rather performed, with the quiet, eloquent virtuosity of a consummately skilled actor with a long tradition of musical collaborations; the corresponding "postlude" is then heard. The neo-romantic score is as accessible as it is original; not a virtuosic showpiece so much as an emotionally and philosophically searching work expressed in musical terms of the utmost communicative eloquence, matching the narrative beautifully in music that is instantly approachable while teeming with allusions to music of the past. 2 CDs. Simon Callow (narrator), Arctic Philharmonic Orchestra; Henning Kraggerud.