STÅLE KLEIBERG (b.1958): Violin Concerto No. 2, Dopo for Cello and Orchestra, Viola Concerto.
Catalogue Number: 10X001
Format: SACD hybrid
Description: We haven’t had any Kleiberg for a few years, so it’s high time we welcomed more of his sumptuously neo-romantic music, overflowing with emotion and compelling drama, as in our previous offerings (01G071, 08L009, 01O078, 06S012). As previously, his vocabulary is decidedly tonal, though individual and personal. The Violin Concerto was inspired by the titles of three series of paintings by Kjell Pahr-Iversen: the first movement by the "Ikon" series; the second by the title "Don Quixote’s Army"; the third by "The Gates Unfold". The first movement is somewhat melancholy and dark-toned, lyrical and full of melody. This is followed by a fast propulsive movement, energetic and playful, with the momentum of rushing spring waters. The deeply moving finale is also the work’s slow movement, the heart of the work, with a sense of a transcendent farewell. The Viola Concerto was inspired by paintings from Edward Munch's "Frieze of Life" series of paintings, which includes "Dance on the Shore" on the CD cover, full of layers of symbolism and an expressionistically heightened sense of the emotional resonance of every action, every experience, including the inevitability of death. Kleiberg's sumptuous score emulates Munch's rich, impasto textures, in three movements that transport the listener through the stages of life, from young love in the shadow of death to old age and death made bearable by the memory of youth and love. Both of these concerti are clearly indebted to Romantic models in form, narrative dramaturgy, and the treatment of the eloquent solo part in relation to the orchestra (including substantial, virtuosic but not showy cadenzas). Dopo ("After") from 1993 is rather different. Composed while the war in the Balkans was raging, and the vile term "ethnic cleansing" re-entered the lexicon a mere 50 years after the Nazis' attempt at something similar, this work is a powerfully protesting cry of anguish which forms the first part of the composer’s "Holocaust Trilogy". Beginning with an impassioned lament from the soloist, the single-span concerto is turbulent and troubled, though even its most intense climaxes speak more of an overwhelming tsunami of grief than abstract outrage and anger, an impression confirmed by the final section, a long, eloquent cadenza on the main theme that ends the work as it began, with a single voice. Marianne Thorsen (violin), Eivind Ringstad (cello), Fredrik Sjölin (viola), Trondheim Symphony Orchestra; Peter Szilvay.