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Michael Gordon (b.1956): Dystopia

Album Summary

>Gordon, Michael : Dystopia, for orchestra
>Gordon, Michael : Rewriting Beethoven's Seventh Symphony, for orchestra
Conductors Ensemble
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Composer

Notes & Reviews:

Combining two of Michael Gordon's most daring large-scale orchestral works, Dystopia documents the composer's dream of not only stretching the capabilities of the modern symphony, but in his words, of "exploring the gray areas between harmony and dissonance." On its own, the music of Dystopia paints a picture of one city's future - in this case, the city of Los Angeles - that is frenzied, chaotic, dazzling, electric, and ultimately...loud. Gordon had discovered similar sensibilities in composing 'Rewriting Beethoven's Seventh Symphony'. Using one element from each of the original movements as a starting point, Gordon crafts a post-modern take on the master's classical forms that managed both to mesmerize and scandalize the audience at Beethovenfest Bonn, who commissioned the work for its 2006 premiere. Taken together, both works re-imagine the 21st c. symphony as equally reverent of the past (if not also a bit irreverent), while envisioning, as an L.A. Times review of the Dystopia premiere put it, "a drunken fugue of the future."

American Record Guide, July/August 2015
Michael Gordon's Dystopia (2008) is a single movement tone poem on the city of Los Angeles. Opening with "big city" concert hall jazz - reminding me of John Carpenter's Skyscrapers, Gershwin, and Bernstein - the music proceeds with intense development for an unbroken eight minutes. This is a thriller, and I'm not doing it justice with my description. Take a deep breath, turn it up, and let it roll. The Los Angeles audience responds hysterically. Rewriting Beethoven's Seventh Symphony (2006) does exactly what its title promises. Gordon takes the symphony's four movements.



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Works Details

>Gordon, Michael : Dystopia, for orchestra
  • Conductor: David Robertson
  • Running Time: 31 min. 1 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary
  • Form: Orchestral
  • Studio/Live: Live

>Gordon, Michael : Rewriting Beethoven's Seventh Symphony, for orchestra
  • Conductor: Jonathan Nott
  • Running Time: 5 min. 46 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary
  • Form: Orchestral
  • Written: 2006
  • Studio/Live: Live