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Sakari Oramo conducts Magnus Lindberg
World Première Recordings
Magnus Lindberg is one of Finland's leading international contemporary composers, together with Kaija Saariaho and Einojuhani Rautavaara. Commissions from the world's leading orchestras, such as The Philadelphia Orchestra and the Berlin Philharmonic and his many recordings on Ondine and other major labels have helped to position him at the forefront of orchestral composition. Energy, colour and a thrilling density of material are the hallmarks of his recent style and the works recorded here, for the first time, offer entrancing examples thereof. This disc, to celebrate Lindberg's 50th birthday, follows on from the huge success of the Clarinet Concerto recording, also for Ondine, best contemporary / première recording both at the Gramophone Awards and the BBC Music Magazine Awards 2006. It also featured conductor Sakari Oramo and the Finnish RSO who are recognised experts in the field of their compatriot's music.
“Sakari Oramo and the Finnish Radio Symphony fully appreciate its opportunities for meaningful orchestral display and are accorded spacious sound that lacks nothing in impact. Sculpture makes this a mandatory purchase for Lindberg's admirers, many of whom may well find in the Concerto more than incidental pleasures.” Gramophone Magazine, February 2009
“It is Sculpture however that seems most sure of itself stylistically. Its outrageously Romantic conclusion - huge, organ-enhanced orchestra singing out in unabashed heroic tones - is convincing in the end because it has been so well prepared. The performances are bracingly clean and alert, with no holding back in the big moments, and the recording very convincingly balances clarity and atmosphere.” BBC Music Magazine, March 2009 ****
“Magnus Lindberg has been dedicated in exploring the potential of the modern orchestra, as this disc confirms. Odd that Campana in aria (1998) was unrecorded until now, as its lively investigation of horn sonority makes for the composer's most entertaining concertante piece, especially when Esa Tapani is so in control of its virtuosity.
Each decade in his maturity has seen Lindberg pen an orchestral work as a statement of intent: thus the modernist outpouring of Kraft (1985), then the reconciliation of innovation and tradition in Aura (1994). Fine that the Concerto for Orchestra (2003) is a further step along this path, but quality is simply lacking – whether in the actual ideas or, especially, the interplay of textures such that the harmonies sound derivative of earlier works, while melodic lines are insufficiently defined. Ensemble writing in the latter half fails to sustain momentum, and the apotheosis is perfunctory by Lindberg's standards.
Fortunately, Sculpture (2005) seems intent on righting its predecessor's wrongs – not least in its skilful mediating between extremes of motion without sacrificing either harmonic or textural intricacy, with a final section that fairly saturates the sound-space.
Quite a piece with which to have opened the Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles.
Sakari Oramo and the Finnish RSO fully appreciate its opportunities for meaningful orchestral display and are accorded spacious sound that lacks nothing in impact. Sculpture makes this a mandatory purchase for Lindberg's admirers, many of whom may well find in the Concerto more than incidental pleasures.” Gramophone Classical Music Guide, 2010
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Magnus Lindberg: Orchestral Music
Magnus Lindberg is one of the most successful living composers. Since 2009, he has been The New York Philharmonic’s Composer-in-Residence.
This anthology of works, written in 1982–2005, documents the evolution of Lindberg’s output and style since his earliest carrier until recent years.
The featured works have helped to cement Lindberg’s international position at the forefront of orchestral composition, with several important awards along the way (Prix Italia 1986, the UNESCO Rostrum of Composers 1986, and the Nordic Music Prize 1988 for Kraft; Royal Philharmonic Society Prize 1992 and the Wihuri Sibelius Prize 2003).
These recordings feature the Finnish Toimii Ensemble (including Magnus Lindberg on piano), Finnish RSO, the Avanti! Chamber Orchestra and the Bavarian RSO, as well as conductors Sakari Oramo, Esa-Pekka Salonen and Jukka-Pekka Saraste.
“Magnus Lindberg is one of the most important post-1945 orchestral composers. He has managed to create a unique synthesis: a distinct, personal, approachable language combined with orchestral virtuosity in the spirit of Strauss, Ravel and Stravinsky.” Esa-Pekka Salonen
“This collection of works written between 1982–2005 is a representative (and striking) sampler of his compositional skill.” london24.com, 17th June 2011
“The prodigious Finnish composer (b1958) is among the doughtiest wielders of the large orchestra at work today. His style is instantly recognisable — furiously scurrying surfaces, sounding at once felicitous and computer-controlled, underpinned by slow, rumbling, portentous harmonic changes...This impressive four-disc compilation of some (not all) of his orchestral essays allows one readily to trace his development.” Sunday Times, 10th April 2011 ***
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