ENJOTT SCHNEIDER (b.1950): Symphony No. 2 for Percussion and Orchestra “Sisyphos”, Concerto for 2 Cellos and String Orchestra “Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde”, Violin Concerto “Earth’s Eyes”.
Catalogue Number: 10S010
Reference: WER 5113 2
Description: Earth's Eyes - i.e. lakes; the term is Thoreau's - is a full-blooded, grand Romantic violin concerto in traditional three-movement form. The movements are inspired by the nature of, and myths surrounding, three famous lakes in Europe; the deep, mountain-locked Königsee, the mysterious and sinister Mondsee, and the romantic legend of Lake Garda. The first movement is correspondingly imposing, grand and sombre; the slow movement occult and shrouded in unearthly gloom, and the rondo-finale glittering and passionate. The work is very tonal, and a true virtuoso vehicle for the soloist. The double concerto, for a compound soloist with twin personalities, is less conventional, and owes more to Schneider's highly successful parallel career as film composer. Its six sections depict aspects of Stevenson's Jekyll and Hyde story in episodes of cinematic imagery full of brooding, dimly gas-lit foggy scene setting, emotional turmoil and despair, violent action and looming tragedy. The idiom is thoroughly accessible and tonal, with ingenious, atmospheric instrumental effects to highlight the dramatic narrative. The impressive, large-scale neo-romantic symphony explores the symbolism of the Sisyphus myth, beginning with a dramatic depiction of perpetual energy expended in endless cycles of circular effort in the lengthy first movement, a magnificent guilty pleasure of a perpetuum mobile in rondo form propelled by rhythmic ostinato beats passed around between various families of drums. This galloping juggernaut carries on doing exactly what you want it to for over a quarter-hour before the work takes a more philosophical turn in the stately, sonorous slow movement, inspired by Camus' notion that struggle and effort are their own rewards in life and that striving toward utopias is pointless. This liberating concept permeates the celebratory dance-finale, full of syncopated drumming and propulsive energy. Johannes Fischer (percussion), Cello Duello, Ingolf Turban (violin), Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin; Wolfgang Lischke.