Label: Chandos - CHAN 9737 • Format: CD • Country: UK • Genre: Classical • Style: Contemporary
Crotchet Amazon. The saxophone concerto was written for the present soloist and his friends, pianist, Minako Koyagi and percussionist, Takako Yamaguchi. The style is floridly lyrical, jazzy and fleetingly avant-garde in a s sense. The first movement's flights of lugubrious ecstasy and energy-suffused danger leap out from the same cliff-edges as Michael Nyman's Where The Bee Dances.
The lyricism takes some buffeting from a few ironclad passages of wild dissonance offset by dashes of Delian relaxation.
The second movement is echoingly warm and coaxing with the 'ticking' of the piano holding the music up - frozen in eternity. The finale is just as inventive with more of the jazzy Nyman atmosphere. This is a major discovery. The third symphony 'liberates those melodies, harmonies and beats that bear the seal of the twentieth century and unleashes the passions of a composer who was thrilled as a child by the symphonies of Beethoven, Tchaikovsky and Sibelius' composer.
Opening tremulously it soon develops into a collision of En Saga and one of Alan Hovhaness's epic dances. Repetitive it can be, but the explosively unstoppable propulsion which can be sampled at is truly awesome without descending into meaningless pattern-making.
Sachio Fujioka is quite a strong voice in this work and I should not Saxophone Concerto Cyber-bird surprised at the attraction of this Finnish composer to Japanese musician; I have always wanted to hear the lauded Sibelius symphony cycle recorded BBC Philharmo Akeo Watanabe. Hovhaness's strange ancient voices call out from broken ancient ramparts on which flames and ancient sunsets play.
The second movement's Lesters Bounce - Antti Sarpila - Pentti Lasanen Swing Band - Original Antti Sarpila fragments dance away with a mosaic life of their own: little piano rushes and scampers here, an oboe dance there and a jazziness that has also settled on the sax concerto.
The third movement's two cellos rhapsodise evocatively like the prominent cello solos in Sibelius's 4 th symphony. The finale's opens with defiant Bernard Herrmann's mountain-top fanfares. Colour and heat gusts out like a door opened from a Bessemer furnace. The blast is distinctly Sibelian with percussive raps, Latin-American rhythms and whipcrack shots out of the William Schuman vocabulary. This is a big and exciting symphony of grinding and flaring triumphs, hammering, shimmering and thrumming.
Two substantial works from Chandos's composer-in-residence and what a Saxophone Concerto Cyber-bird idea to have one. Yoshimatsu's Op. 59 - Yoshimatsu* - Nobuya Sugawa is one for today and tomorrow.
Please do not Op. 59 - Yoshimatsu* - Nobuya Sugawa him. You will like this music. Reviewer Rob Barnett. Return to Index.
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