Magazine article Gramophone

Palmgren: 'The River'

Magazine article Gramophone

Palmgren: 'The River'

Article excerpt


'The River'

Piano Concertos (a)--No 1; No 2, 'The River'; No 3, 'Metamorphoses'. Pieces, Op 78 (b)

Henri Sigfridsson pf

(a) Pori Sinfonietta / Jan Soderblom (b) vn

Alba (F) [SACD] ABCD385 (72' * DDD/DSD)

The most interesting music on this disc comes first. Selim Palmgren's Second Piano Concerto (b1913) starts with a mysterious, almost inaudible throbbing, and when the piano enters it is shadowed by a faintly exotic-sounding celesta. Never entirely predictable as it wends its episodic, rather short-breathed yet always attractive, 23-minute way, the piece could equally well be tided 'fantasy' or 'rhapsody'. It's not entirely surprising that Friedman, for one, took it into his repertoire. In fact it describes the course of the Kokemaki River, in particular through the town of Pori, where the composer spent his youth. The chamber orchestra now located there pays the score the compliment of maximum care and attention, while Henri Sigfridsson brings flexible phrasing and some finely blended textures to the solo part, as well as full technical aptitude.

Palmgren's five piano concertos span the central decades of his composing career. …

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