LWC1255 (LAWO Classics, CD)
FIRST RELEASE (23 June 2023)
Booklet pages: 6
© 2023 LAWO Classics
Main country of recording: Norway
Reviewer: Gerald Fenech
Review of Glass - Bjerkestrand - Patientia published on 21 August 2023
Philip Glass' Violin Concerto No 2 was premiered in 2009 in Toronto by violinist Robert McDuffie, for whom the work was composed, and the Toronto Symphony Orchestra under conductor Peter Oundjian. Although conceived as a companion piece to Vivaldi's Four Seasons, after years of to and fro between McDuffie and Glass, it emerged that their interpretations of the seasons were greatly different. This was the reason Glass chose to present his Four Seasons as an opportunity for listeners to make their own interpretation, therefore the titles of the movements offer no clues as to where Spring, Summer, Autumn and Winter might fall. Kjetil Bjerkestrand draws on a wide range of musical styles, from rock and pop to contemporary classical. He describes the composition process as one part search for fixation points in a series of possible events, and one part exploration of friction caused by the 'union of the elastic and the mechanical'. Harmonically, he often starts with Messiaen's third mode of limited transposition. Starting on C this would be C-D-Eb-E-F#-G-Ab-Bb-B. There are three identical movements from each major third, C, E and Ab, which are also the only notes that appear in all three possible modulations. From this he derives three-chord sequences, with a penchant for triads, which he then stacks according to his desire and need to fill the soundscape. However technical this may sound, Kjetil manages to distill a music of his own which seems both familiar and foreign; instantaneous, yet profound.
Recorded 2-6 August 2021 in Sofienberg Church, Sofienberg Park, Oslo, Norway.