Swiss premiere, performed by l’OCL conducted by Klaus Mäkelä
“It is no wonder that Edvard Munch’s Scream adorns the score’s cover page; the listener is thrown here without warning into a deeply expressionistic sound world, where the full-throat strings play a kind of high register coral, over a billowing sound mat from the wind. The composer claims to have based on the most climactic moments in Sibelius’s Seventh Symphony, and it is possible here to experience Sibelius’s influences in both orchestration and disposition, while at the same time weaving elements of minimalism into the soundscape.
The intense episodes occasionally give way to quieter passages where it feels like time has stopped, but in time enough the entire orchestra apparatus marches forward to a spine-chilling culmination that would have caused the hair to rise even on Edvard Munch. It is not every day that a percussion assembly includes a brutally hammering anvil, but here it was used to its maximum effect, in all its primitiveness.
However, Un Grande Sospiro goes further than Munch’s painting, as the music gradually leads us out of the manic state we found ourselves in, to a new place where – as a fitting Kafka quote on the last pages of the score says – the spirit is different. Zinovjev’s outstanding sense of dramaturgy makes me wonder if he should embark on the world of opera sometime in the future?
25.10.2019: Tapiola Sinfonietta/Klaus Mäkelä, world premiere
11.12.2019: Orchestre de Chambre de Lausanne/Klaus Mäkelä, swiss premiere
12.12.2019: Orchestre de Chambre de Lausanne/Klaus Mäkelä
11.3.2020: Kymi Sinfonietta/Taavi Oramo
12.3.2020: Kymi Sinfonietta/Taavi Oramo
6.5.2020: National Arts Centre Orchestra/Klaus Mäkelä, Canadian premiere
7.5.2020: National Arts Centre Orchestra/Klaus Mäkelä