Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Colorful compositions: Szymanowski, Schönberg, Gubaidulina

Here is a “sort of virtual concert” with works where sound color occupies an important place. 
Szymanowski’s World War one violin concerto is perfumed with fragrant instrumentation, rhapsodic in form and has, in my opinion, one of the most hypnotic endings of any concerto I’ve ever heard.
Arnold Schönberg’s 5 orchestral pieces from 1909 are the starting point of
Klangfarbenmelodie”, the technique of separating a melody over several instruments. 
Although presented as a single piece, Gubaidulina’s 2nd violinconcerto is divided into five episodes. In each of them the high register, symbolizing the sky and the low register, symbolizing hell with instruments like trombones, tubas - including three Wagnerian tubas - and double bassoons, oppose each other. In this struggle between light and shadow, with the orchestra playing the role of fate, “divine unity" is symbolized by unison, achieved in the transition from the fourth to the fifth episode. 

Karol Szymanowski (1882-1937)
Violin concerto no 1 op 35 (1916)
Rosanne Philippens , violin, 
Nationaal Jeugd Orkest 
Xian Zhang, conductor
(Muziekgebouw aan 't IJ, Amsterdam, live, september 2014)

Arnold Schönberg (1874-1951)
Fünf Orchesterstücke op 16 (1909)
City of Birmingham Orchestra
Simon Rattle, conductor
(Warwick Arts Centre, England, 1987)

Sofia Gubaidulina (born 1931)
Violin concerto no 2 “in tempus praesens” (2006-7)
Simone Lamsma, violin
Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra
Reinbert De Leeuw, conductor
(Concertgebouw, Amsterdam, live, oktober 2011)

(web player link)

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