Magazine article Gramophone

Connesson: Cello Concerto

Magazine article Gramophone

Connesson: Cello Concerto

Article excerpt

Connesson

Cello Concerto (a). Lucifer

(a) Jerome Pernoo vc Monte Carlo Philharmonic Orchestra / Jean-Christophe Spinosi

DG/Discovery [F] 4811166 (66' * DDD)

Listen blind and you'd never guess this was music by a Frenchman operating in the post-Boulez era, the best clues being the iridescent sonorities achieved throughout and the reliance on early Messiaen as a model for the paradisiacal element of the third movement of the Cello Concerto (2008). As Guillaume Connesson himself admits, Shostakovich, John Adams, pop and jazz mean more to him than his intellectualising predecessors, so it is perhaps inevitable that the great Russian should influence key moments in his own Cello Concerto. Of course Shostakovich was writing for Rostropovich in a very different, anti-hedonistic cultural climate. Connesson's more accessible piece is dedicated to Jerome Pernoo, who plays it here with evident authority and commitment.

Now in his forties, Connesson is a professional to his fingertips, and should you warm to the work of the classier commercial composers and orchestrators you may find his world wholly congenial. It is those sympathetic to the traditional contemporary music scene who might be taken aback by the brazenness of it all. Connesson's retro, razzle-dazzle eclecticism knows no bounds: a bouncy rhythm borrowed here, a shiny instrumental effect there, glass harmonica and all. Dangerously familiar shards of Adams, Lutosfawski et al can be the one 'modern' element enlivening a conventional romantic texture. …

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