Larcher: Symphony No. 2, "kenotaph" - Die Nacht De

Album cover art for upc 0761195139325
Catalog: ODE 1393-2

Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra; Schuen, Andrè; Lintu, Hannu

Austrian composer Thomas Larcher (b. 1963) is one of the great symphonists of our era. This album by the Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra and conductor Hannu Lintu includes the first recording of his 2nd Symphony, ‘Kenotaph’, and the song cycle ‘Die Nacht der Verlorenen’ performed by the world-known baritone Andrè Schuen. Larcher’s symphony was written in 2015–2016 to a commission from the National Bank of Austria for its bicentenary. The premiere was given by the Vienna Philharmonic under Semyon Bychkov at the Musikverein in Vienna in June 2016. Larcher’s work, originally intended as a concerto for orchestra, engages with tradition as a fertile background, while still embodying the sound and consciousness of our time. The subtitle to Larcher’s work was motivated by the painful awareness of the thousands of refugees who have drowned in the Mediterranean. The work can also be understood as a more general meditation on human tragedy and an exploration of profound existential issues. Larcher ties the material of the work together with a strong sense of dramaturgy, intense emotional expression and a feeling for musical narrative. The song cycle ‘Die Nacht der Verlorenen’ for baritone and large ensemble sets fragments by Ingeborg Bachmann (1926–1973) that were posthumously published. Bachmann’s dark texts inspired Larcher to write intense and compelling music that is entirely in tune with the mood of the poems. Overall, the work is dominated by slow, meditative and often dreamlike and unreal moods, effectively underpinned by delicate and carefully designed scoring that conjures up a multitude of colors and shades.

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