BRETT DEAN (b.1961): Dramatis Personae for Trumpet and Orchestra, LUCA FRANCESCONI (b.1956): Hard Pace for Trumpet and Orchestra.

Catalogue Number: 06S083

Label: BIS

Reference: 2067

Format: SACD hybrid

Price: $19.98

Description: These concerti were both written for the formidable talent of Håkon Hardenberger; thus both require unlikely levels of flamboyant virtuosity. Dean's concerto is in traditional three-movement form, the title referring to the dramatic archetypes depicted in the music. 'Fall of Superhero' refers to the conflicted heroes and anti-heroes from ancient mythology to the comic-book and movie characters of today. The brooding opening - Gotham City by night, or some inhospitable Norse landscape - gives way to Dean's typical motoric, tonal post-minimalist neo-romanticism, the solo protagonist striving mightily before being overcome by his own failings. 'Soliloquy' is an inner monologue with a barely suppressed anger; one of Shakespeare's tragic heroes, perhaps. The finale takes its cue from the satire of Chaplin's 'Modern Times', the soloist leading an increasingly raucous rabble in a lively, ironic march. Francesconi's piece also has a 'hero'; Miles Davis. Francesconi's style, while undeniably modern, is far from inaccessible; in connection with the subject of the work he writes of the vulnerability of the artist exposed through his art in an attempt to communicate directly with the audience, and the music bears out this idea. The concerto constantly refers to Davis' styles of playing, though without any sense of being a 'jazz crossover' piece, and in a short movement entitled 'Miles' explicit reference is made to several of the jazz trumpeter's ground-breaking stylistic periods. Håkan Hardenberger (trumpet), Gothenburg Symphony; John Storgårds.


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