Review by Edvin July 18, 2006 (1 of 1 found this review helpful)
A scherzo. Much of it in 6/8 time, or something like it. Rhytmically complicated, difficult to play. But to the ears no more complicated than Bernstein on Broadway. There is a great difference though, Bernstein had the tunes, Turnage has none. But there are some great sounds and a relentless forward motion. A modern moto perpetuo. The saxophone is nice indeed and I think an American performance would bring out more of this piece. The ending sounds a bit studied though.
A reworking of older pieces, no harm in that. I absolutely love these nocturnal sounds, not a pastoral backdrop, but rather an open window in the big city. But the sounds could be anywhere, New York, London or in your own mind where ever you are. The orchestration is expert and the first movement catches the mood of you being almost asleep. The sort of in-between consiousness where fantasies grow limitless.
The middle movement for mostly strings is disturbed and nightmarish. There are waves of emotions and almost a tsunami of inner surges.
Third and last. Lovely, hazy and warm sounds. Quietly snoozing away. The nightly demons are all dressed up in rainbow colours and they perform for you and me. Great music, I love this.
When I woke, three songs.
The actual form of this first poem should deter any composer from attempting to set it to music. Turnage included, enough said.
The second is a dramatic recitative brilliantly sung by Gerald Finley. It has some very atmospheric sounds and the restrained music strenghtens the words.
Three. A lovely soundscape. Again music for a great city. The poems are so wonderful and again Turnage has the good taste to put the words forward. The music is a rich backgroud on which the words can rest secure that they are number one. Again, Gerald Finley is a great singer. I was slightly reminded of Laci Boldemann´s Lieder der vergänglichkeit with Håkan Hagegård - I don´t suppose many know this song cycle.
There are echoes of early Britten and it is a gripping experience.
Yet another set to
A new concerto for trombone and as usual with a new concerto the aim is to make it as difficult as possible for the soloist. No chance with this one. Christian Lindberg can take it all!
It starts loud and noisy. It just goes on and suddenly there is a drum kit and some jazzy rhytms. Sorry, but this is so empty with very little substance. It is so simple.
No2. Trombone con sordino plays a not really soothing tune. Nah. The 3/4 time is sort of comforting.
No 3. A Short cadenza, boring as always. Yes yes, we know he can play the damn thing and it is back to the circus. Look what I can do, whooopeey. A whirlwind of...no thanks. It is so empty.
The performances are probably good, but I think that a more extrovert leader in Scherzoid would benefit. Jurowski in Evening Songs and When I Woke is perfect. The sound is good.
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