Rihm wrote four movements entitled Verwandlung in the first decade of the new millennium. Each one begins differently; No. 1 out of a single tone, No. 2 from pastoral thirds in the violin, No. 3 from a “coup d’archet”, an orchestral trap effect, No. 4 out of brusque orchestral buffets. All carry along an abundance of musical reminiscences and the voice of Mahler is the one heard most distinctly.
“The music seems to define its own form as it unfolds, with its long, sinuous instrumental lines, making passing references to a number of composers...In Rihm's music it seems that everything – the whole of music history – is up for grabs, for reappraisal and for recycling.” The Guardian, 18th November 2010 ***
“Proliferation of ideas unimpeded by the conventionalities of form is the aesthetic goal...and Rihm strives for it in an idiom that is wildly inclusive (dominantly tonal) while evading modish eclecticism. His inventiveness is invigorating — you feel he can musically do anything — yet there is grit here, too.” Sunday Times, 21st November 2010 ***
“You need an orchestra that can turn on a sixpence to do these scores justice, but the SWR Radio Symphony Orchestra...manage just that, with a quicksilver response to changes of texture, tempo and colour. The engineers have captured it all in transparent sound...Strongly recommended for an hour of serious grown-up fun.” International Record Review, March 2011