Magazine article Gramophone

Bystrom: Picnic at Hanging Rock

Magazine article Gramophone

Bystrom: Picnic at Hanging Rock

Article excerpt


Picnic at Hanging Rock (a). A Walk After Dark (b). Invisible Cities (a)

(b) Ellen Nisbeth va (a) Malmo Symphony Orchestra; (b) Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra /Daniel Blendulf

Daphne (F) DAPHNE1046 (67' * DDD)

(b) Recorded live at Berwaldhallen, Stockholm, February 15, 2014

I first encountered Britta Bystrom's music on Phono Suecia's fascinating CD ('Persuasion', from her 2004 orchestral piece after Jane Austen) that featured works written between 1996 and 2007. This new disc contains three more recent works. Earliest is Picnic at Hanging Rock (2010), which Bystrom styles a tone-poem, drawing its inspiration from Peter Weir's iconic film. It is a beguilingly scored orchestral work, strong on atmosphere (like Weir's film), with fantastical orchestration that makes it a study in timbre. The piece won the Christ Johnson Prize in 2012.

Bystrom's music is much involved with the nature of sound and if there is a criticism of Picnic at Hanging Rock it is that her attention to detail sacrifices a little in terms of structure. …

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