WERONIKA RATUSINSKA (b.1977): Cello Concerto, Sinfonietta for String Orchestra, Gasherbrum for Small Orchestra, Divertimento for Strings, Symphony for Large Orchestra.
Catalogue Number: 01P085
Description: These works are tonal, rich of harmony and orchestration, and characterised by a persistent use of propulsive ostinati, frequently bordering on the familiar gestures of American romantic minimalism. The Symphony, in fact, is an homage to the techniques of Adams and Reich, and much of it could in fact be taken for an unknown work by Adams, from his Harmonium or Harmonielehre years - which is not to suggest derivativeness so much as a thorough and skillful exploration of an established idiom. Rapidly shifting canonically overlapping layers of melodic material are presented in conjunction with lively rhythmic development, here and in all the pieces on the disc. The concerto adds an intriguing inflection to the melodic contour, as the composer has based the soloist's material on variants of a Hindu raga. The gorgeously lyrical middle movement begins with a melodically eloquent, richly Romantic cadenza, bracketed by insistent, energetic outer movements. In its minimalistically-interpreted use of canon, the metrically lively Sinfonietta feels like a contemporary tribute to timeless Baroque models and techniques. Two relatively early works, Gasherbrun, with its Tibetan influence expressed through pentatonic scales and consonant euphony, and the lively, neoclassically elegant Divertimento, explore an attractive, modally inflected language. Tomasz Strahl (cello), Silesian Philharmonic Symphony Orchestra; Miroslaw Jacek Blaszczyk.