Wednesday, May 15, 2019
Salonen, Cello Concerto, Yo-Yo Ma, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Essa-Pekka Salonen
It is a kind of dream-laden soundscape we enter, mysterious, somewhat reminiscent of Scriabin in his later period, harmonically forward and well orchestrated, atmospheric, a kind of hot-house terrarium of night-blooming fullness, of exotica in all its spicy speciality.
The composer states in the liners, "I imagined the solo cello line as a trajectory of a moving object in space being followed by other lines/instruments/moving objects." The cello is trailed mysteriously by a cloud of instrumental imitation. "Sometimes the imitating cloud flies above the cello, sometimes in the very same register. It thins out to two lines and finally to one." The orchestral part and solo part, then, are organically linked in a process that is interwoven beautifully together. One listens to what seems like an extravagantly fanciful organicity, at once Mythically Modern and complexly expressive.
Yo-Yo Ma plays his part with heroic lyricism and the orchestra under Salonen takes on a life remarkable and memorable.
This is expertly conceived and realized music of high invention. If this is a first salvo then we can hope Salonen might well become a very important compositional voice of our time. Very recommended.