Magazine article Gramophone

M Lindberg: Violin Concerto

Magazine article Gramophone

M Lindberg: Violin Concerto

Article excerpt

M Lindberg

Violin Concerto (a). Jubilees (b). Souvenir (b)

(a) Tapiola Sinfonietta/(a) Pekka Kuusisto vn, (b) Magnus Lindberg

Ondine [F] ODE1175-2 (67' * DDD)

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

Kuusisto controls second taping of Lindberg's Concerto

Lindberg's Violin Concerto of 2006 is the standout work in this latest instalment of his output from Ondine. It manages to balance substance with style, and poetry with virtuosity, in ways that can almost stand comparison with Berg (the distant but clear model for a number of its textures). Only the brevity of the fast concluding movement--under four minutes, as against 11 and 10 for the first two--strikes me as less than wholly convincing. Pekka Kuusisto, directing as well as playing, knocks a couple of minutes off Lisa Batiashvili's timings in her world premiere recording with Sakari Oramo for Sony. Both performances strike me as outstanding and I would find it hard to choose one over the other.

The composer himself conducts the other two works, both for large chamber ensemble. Jubilees (2000/2002) is a relatively hard nut to crack. Its six movements are arrangements of a set of piano miniatures. Lacking both the punchy, rock-influenced immediacy of the earlier Lindberg and the more seductive poetry of more recent scores such as the Violin Concerto, they have an air of resourceful studies rather than of compelling expressive necessity--music to admire, certainly, for its mastery of colour and flow but not perhaps high on the list for further acquaintance. …

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