This CD is entitled Homage to AndréVandernoot, the Belgian conductor
who enjoyed an international career until his death in 1991.
Frederik van Rossum is a Belgian composer born in 1939 and could be described
as a contemporary romantic. He is a fine orchestrator and his music has both
intensity and drama. His Violin Concerto No 1 was written for the
1980 Queen Elisabeth International Music Competition. For those who like
comparison its musical language stands somewhere between Syzmanowski's
Violin Concerto No I, a truly magnificent piece, and Bartók.
It is a work of tremendous virtuosity and power but it also has clear thematic
material and a rich lyricism. It is well written and splendidly performed
and deserves to be widely known.
The Symphony No 3 was premièed in 1989 and begins with what
appears to be a noisy audience. The percussion is used with great effect
over sinister pitched music. Nemesis is the goddess of retribution and this
dark, violent and destructive subject is portrayed in this music which alternates
between 'punitive' music and its consequences of unavoidable resignation.
The moaning brass and the uneasiness of the piece may not appeal to everyone
but the work has enjoyed much success. It is predominantly slow and often
very intense like an enormous slab of grey unremitting concrete. But the
atmosphere it evokes, while very heavy, is sometimes compelling if not
structurally coherent. It becomes tedious as a result.
Brass and percussion make up the scoring of Réquisitoire of
1973, another 'strained' work but it fares better than the Symphony
because of a clear sense of contrast. Sometimes this piece has a nervous
The performances are very good as is the recorded sound. It does underline
the anxiety of this music.