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Esa-Pekka Salonen: Out of Nowhere - Violin Concerto; Nyx / Leila Josefowicz, violin

Album Summary

>Salonen, Esa-Pekka : Concerto for Violin
>Salonen, Esa-Pekka : Nyx, for orchestra
Performer Conductor Ensembles Composer

Notes & Reviews:

Expedition Audio Recommended
... While with the orchestration itself Salonen can hold his listener spellbound, there is so much more to his music than these incredible sounds. I can't find who the quote should be attributed to, but most websites report that this is "the first great concerto of the 21st century." I believe that this is true, and would go further and suggest that these works will long hold an important place in early 21st century music. ... read more ...

A fascinating hybrid of European modernist rigor and polyglot Californian cool, wrote by the Boston Globe. Esa-Pekka Salonen's four-movement Violin Concerto (2009) is perhaps the first great 21st century addition to the concerto genre. Written for the American violinist Leila Joefowicz, this highly attractive concerto appears headed straight into the standard repertoire by Classical Review, and has already been performed in major musical centers including London, Berlin, Boston, San Francisco, and Los Angeles.

The concerto was written as Maestro Salonen neared the end of his 17-year tenure as Music Director of the Los Angeles Philharmonic. As he writes: During the composing process of Violin Concerto I felt that I was somehow trying to sum up everything I had learned and experienced up to that point in my life as a musician.

The concerto is coupled with Nyx (2011), a single-movement pulsing piece for full orchestra that paints a musical portrait of the shadowy Greek goddess. The New York Times called the work "sweeping... and alluring".

Esa-Pekka Salonen and Julia Fischer will perform the concerto next year with the Vienna Philharmonic while Leila Josefowicz will play the piece with the New York Philharmonic during the 2013/14 season. Nyx is being toured with the Symphonie orchester des Bayerischen Runfunks and was heard this past season at Carnegie Hall.

This album reaffirms Deutsche Grammophon's commitment to reaching new audiences with the test in contemporary classical music.

The Guardian, 4th October 2012
Though it's all impressively put together as a fine vehicle for the soloist Leila Josefowicz, there's no suggestion of Salonen rethinking the genre, or pushing its boundaries. The second movement is brief, throbbing and slow, the third a burlesque-like scherzo, while the long finale provides the only surprise, with its sudden plunge into Berg-like introspection, a slow climb towards a massive climax.

The Times, 20th October 2012
Salonen has a conductor's ear for translucent, shimmering sonorities, but there's character and substance here too.

The Arts Desk, 8th December 2012
There are so many moments of jaw-dropping loveliness in the concerto - this would be a fantastic piece to hear live. But too often the work sounds like an amalgam of exquisitely polished effects, filched from Salonen's favourite composers...Nyx is the sort of piece we'd all love to be able to write, a delirious soundtrack for an unmade film. Salonen's performance is as flamboyant as you'd expect.

Gramophone Magazine, January 2013
These performances, played with great polish and panache and recorded with a winning blend of clarity and spaciousness, provide the best possible advocacy.

American Record Guide, March / April 2013
The violin writing is hypervirtuosic. The work is a major statement. The humid atmosphere is contrasted with episodes of power and searing expressivity. The Finnish Radio musicians acquit themselves with crisp virtuosity and sumptuous sonority where appropriate.

Notes & Reviews:

Recording information: Helsinki Music Centre.


pleasantly surprised
I ordered the Violin Concerto by Esa-Pekka Salonen based on comments by
your house critic. I was somewhat apprehensive as to the extreme
dissonance of this new work. I have been pleasantly surprised. While
being quite modern, it not "ugly" as are so many of the new works being
recorded these days. I may have to look into more of his compositions.
Of course, this concerto is not as melodically beautiful as the
Mendelssohn Violin Concerto. But then not even "a day in June" is as
Submitted on 10/15/13 by bj 
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Works Details

>Salonen, Esa-Pekka : Concerto for Violin
  • Performer: Leila Josefowicz (Violin)
  • Conductor: Esa-Pekka Salonen
  • Ensemble: Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra
  • Running Time: 29 min. 6 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary
  • Form: Concerto
  • Written: 2009

>Salonen, Esa-Pekka : Nyx, for orchestra
  • Conductor: Esa-Pekka Salonen
  • Running Time: 19 min. 14 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary
  • Form: Orchestral
  • Written: 2010