MICHAEL HERSCH (b.1971): Symphonies Nos. 1 and 2, Fracta, Arraché.
Catalogue Number: 12I078
Description: This being a budget-priced label, it should be enough to recommend it to anyone who collects modern symphonic music which belongs neither to the neo-romantic nor to the minimalist schools but which plainly exhibits an original voice (which changes quite a bit in the three years between the symphonies recorded here). But one could say that the first symphony (1998), a single-movement work of 27 minutes, shows the distant influence of Mahler and Berg, while the second (2001) shows where Hersch is headed now: "turbulent, sometimes violent passages pushed forward by extremes of dynamics and texture. His music is an unrelenting and uncompromising plunge into raw emotion." in the words of the note-writer for this issue. But calm, meditative moments provide maximum contrast and, lest this make you think of Kancheli's opposition of deafening outbursts and bare audibility, Hersch belongs firmly in the symphonic tradition of 20th century American music. Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra; Marin Alsop.