SØREN NILS EICHBERG (b.1973): Symphony No. 3 for Orchestra, Choir and Electronics, Morpheus - Concerto for Orchestra.
Catalogue Number: 08U010
Description: Following the disc from five years ago of Eichberg's powerful first two symphonies (06O010), this CD brings us two equally impressive, more recent symphonic works. The 3rd Symphony is in 8 movements, and is freer in form and content and more all-encompassing than its predecessors, while retaining the same basically tonal idiom and monumental aspect. The composer describes it as his 'most personal work to date; the symphony was composed during his father's terminal illness, and the vast canvas poses a series of existential questions and conundrums, with no shortage of drama. Beginning with arresting ritual drumming, the orchestra is joined by the choir's turbulent intoning of extracts from Qu Yuan’s poem "The Heavenly Questions" dating from circa 300 BC. This is unexpectedly supplanted by a naïve Danish lullaby played with chamber music delicacy and interrupted by discordant clusters. The next, choral, movement sets an unsettling Hebrew Poem about the loss of childhood by David Vogel (1891-1944) in shadowy, ostinato-underpinned waves. A more delicate ostinato now emerges, a mechanism like a musical orrery, ushering in another, more contemplative episode of 'heavenly questions'. The music gathers momentum in an increasingly propulsive movement - the cosmic machine depicted by the earlier model, perhaps - which culminates in a colossal celestial dance and a grand final peroration with some absolutely stunning moments of incandescent splendor. Described as a Concerto for orchestra, Morpheus is a seven-movement orchestral extravaganza in the time-honoured tradition that is in some ways more 'symphonically' thematically developed than the symphony. Vortices of ostinato motion abound; the work teems with irrepressible energy and motion on the grandest possible scale. Danish National Concert Choir, Danish National Symphony Orchestra; Robert Spano, Joshua Weilerstein (Morpheus).