THOMAS KOPPEL (1944-2006): Moonchild’s Dream for Recorder and Orchestra, PELLE GUDMUNDSEN-HOLMGREEN (b.1932): Chacun Son Son for Recorder and Orchestra, SUNLEIF RASMUSSEN (b.1961): Territorial Songs for Recorder and Orchestra.
Catalogue Number: 08R074
Label: OUR Recordings
Format: SACD hybrid
Description: The concerto by Thomas Koppel (son of Herman, brother of Anders) is a real find. The work has some programmatic content, celebrating creative and positive forces in the face of societal indifference - the composer concerned himself with social issues throughout his career. The four-movement concerto is suffused with a degree of melodic loveliness that is rare nowadays, in an idiom that, while thoroughly tonal, is far from naïve, and which admits striking dissonance and uneasy, dark-hued, emotionally wrenching percussive disruptions as part of the piece's argument. Gudmunsen-Holmgreen's piece is typically iconoclastic and 'outsiderish', in his individual modernist style, infused with dark humor almost to the point of absurdism. 'To Each His Own Sound' gives different characters to material played by various sections of the orchestra, the recorder family leading a very slow canon in the woodwind section which progresses up through the registers, while strings brass and percussion maintain their own separate slow march rhythms but doing their own thing sonically as though deliberately ignoring each other . The piece has an ominous quality, with a sense of arcane ritual whose meaning has been lost to time. The music gradually accelerates but loses none of its menace, and an attempt at an impassioned cadenza by a solo violin fails to deflect the inexorable march of the other protagonists into a half-lit distance. The curtain abruptly falls on the scene, leaving the soloist soliloquizing in desolate multiphonics. Rasmussen's concerto returns the recorder to center stage, evoking the songs of territorial songbirds in sections of extravagant virtuosity (and one of mysterious twilight calm). The orchestral contribution varies between rustling nature sounds and allusions to folksong-like melody, sometimes lacking tonality altogether, at others laying down a richly tonal chordal substrate as backdrop to the exhilarating acrobatics of the soloist. Michala Petri (recorder), Aalborg Symphony Orchestra; Henrik Vagn Christensen.