THIERRY LANCINO (b.1954): Violin Concerto (Isabelle Faust [violin], Luxembourg Philharmonic Orchestra; Arturo Tamayo), Prelude and Death of Virgil for Baritone and Orchestra (Matteo de Monti [baritone], Orchestre National de France; Gerard Schwarz).
Catalogue Number: 10Q082
Description: The concerto is described by the composer as embodying the confrontation of the small solo instrument and the 'gigantic machine' of the orchestra, and the work is certainly of the 'lone protagonist facing overwhelming odds' genre, though there is no specific program. The orchestra part emphasise tumultuous complexity, while the soloist is given material with which to more than hold her own, in a near-constant stream of virtuosic argument and defiant lyricism. An unusual device in the latter part of the first movement is the glissando inflection of most of the material in both parts. Mostly, however, 'extended' methods are avoided, and while not exactly tonal, the music has a defined sense of harmonic coherence. A monumental orchestral prelude, interlude and postlude, setting the scene for an event on an epic scale, bracket the poet's final monologue in a work derived from an unfulfilled opera project on the life of Virgil. The rich, harmonically ambiguous idiom, tending toward atonality, creates an intense, brooding atmosphere, lending a sense of momentous import to the event depicted. Text and translation included. French-English texts.