As can be seen from the above details many of the composers featured
in this curiously-titled compilation of recent works are quite
young. In fact Henrik Strindberg is almost the Grand Old Man here,
although he is represented by a very recent work composed in 2008.
His Timeline is in three sections separated by short “tone-less”
intermezzos, the music being repetitive, but by no means minimalist.
The whole roughly amounts to a short set of variations, the three
movements apparently sharing common material. The final section,
however, is characterised by layering of different patterns.
is represented here by the second movement of her piano trio
Beginning recorded complete on BIS-CD-1396 - reviewed
here some time ago.
Marin by Belgrade-born Djuro Zivkovic sets three strophes
from Valéry’s celebrated eponymous poem. There also exists a
setting by Fartein Valen. The one by Zivkovic is for alto and
ensemble. It evinces considerable instrumental imagination and
invention while the voice is straightforwardly laid-out - quite
a nice piece of music.
is now making quite a reputation. This has been reinforced by
her Wings of the Mind (now on Phono Suecia PSCD
171) which won second prize in the 1998 Masterprize Competition.
Her Behind the Shadows for strings and percussion is
indirectly based on episodes from Zelda Fitzgerald’s autobiographical
novel Save Me the Waltz, although the music is clearly
neither programmatic nor descriptive. It is more about suggesting
moods reflected in various parts of the novel. The overall mood
is predominantly uneasy, ominous and dark-hued.
Pär Frid’s Déjà-vu,
over and over again is scored for small ensemble and electronics.
I am not quite sure what the first three movements are about.
I eventually found it a rather disturbing work in that the music
seems unable to decide where to go in spite or – maybe – because
of the many calculations made by the composer before writing
the piece. A sense of goal, however, is eventually reached in
the last section. As I said, this is a curious work that left
me wanting in spite of some nice ideas. As Vaughan Williams
once said about his own appreciation of Schönberg, “I suppose
it’s all my fault”. I will anyway live in faith till I hear
more of Frid’s music.
is based on material drawn from a cantus firmus by Palestrina
to which Lysell applies compositional techniques also used by
the Italian composer. The most remarkable thing about this beautiful
work is that it never sounds like a pastiche or parody, but
rather serves as a sincere homage to Palestrina. This is one
of the finest works here, as is Staern’s The Deep Violoncello
of the Night, a very fine setting for alto and ensemble
of a similarly titled poem by Karin Boye. The cello has an appropriately
more developed part. The music at times reflects words from
the poem in an almost graphic way. In this short dramatic scena,
the composer successfully and resourcefully draws considerable
strength from a small mixed ensemble.
as this are inevitably uneven with the composers having different
musical and aesthetic horizons. Sonanza’s performances are excellent,
carefully prepared and fully committed. Such a cross-section
is well worth more than the occasional hearing for it includes
some appealing works such as the Strindberg, Borisova-Olla,
Zivkovic and Staern. My sole regret about this otherwise worthwhile
release is that Rehnqvist is represented by a movement from
a work that has already been recorded rather than by another
work of hers.