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Sebastian Fagerlund (b.1972): Violin Concerto 'Darkness in Light'; Ignite, for orchestra / Pekka Kuusisto, violin; Finnish Radio SO, Lintu

Album Summary

>Fagerlund, Sebastian : Concerto for Violin ("Darkness in Light")
>Fagerlund, Sebastian : Ignite, for orchestra
Performer Conductor Ensemble Composer

Notes & Reviews:

The style in which the Finnish composer Sebastian Fagerlund composes might be described as 'magic realism', combining elements of surrealism with factual narrative. Drawing upon the symphony orchestra's full spectrum of colours, the music reflects not only the traditions of impressionism, modernism and post-minimalism but also reveals the composer's acute ear for other genres, from cool jazz to ambient music. An earlier recording of orchestral works by Fagerlund was described by the enthusiastic reveiwer in BBC Music Magazine as displaying 'boundless technical resource at the service of a considerable imagination'. These qualities, and his receptivity towards different musical traditions Fagerlund shares with Pekka Kuusisto, to whom the violin concerto Darkness in Light is dedicated. The title of the work is a subtle reference to a quote from author Haruki Murakami's novella Firefly: 'Death is not the opposite of life, but a part of it', and illustrates how the music transcends distinctions: darkness and light, tonality and atonality, orchestra and soloist, destruction and renewal - there cannot be one without the other. The disc closes with the orchestral work Ignite, composed for the Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra which performs it here, under its chief conductor Hannu Lintu. The work takes its name from the constant collision of ideas that 'ignites' new energy, but in terms of form the inspiration has been the spiral, a shape found in DNA and mussel shells as well as in whirlwinds and the structure of galaxies. With a duration of 30 minutes, the work is organized in four movements separated by brief interludes - all of which are played without interruption.

Gramophone Magazine, May 2015
The Violin Concerto Darkness in Light (2012) was composed for and dedicated to Pekka Kuusisto, who gives a dazzlingly virtuoso account of it here... [Ignite (2010)] is an invigorating and virtuosically scored symphonic poem and finds Lintu and the Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra fully on their mettle. Superb sound, as always.

American Record Guide, September/October 2015
The violin concerto (2012), Darkness In Light, is an impressive work of startling virtuosity and substantial depth. Set in what amounts to a traditional three-movement design (rapid exposition with contrasting segments, dark slow movement, breathless finale) the work progresses in a stream of consciousness with abstract materials unfolding intensely.

Ignite (2010), like the concerto, has a classical background, and is in essence a four-movement symphony (allegro, scherzo, slow movement, rapid finale). A dramatic romantic outburst explodes near the center of the work, to grand cinematic effect. The lengthy slow movement is filled with northern mysticism. Orchestration and engineering are spectacular. BIS also has two other releases of the composer's music. Check indexes.

Notes & Reviews:

Recording information: Helsinki Music Centre, Finland.



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Works Details

>Fagerlund, Sebastian : Concerto for Violin ("Darkness in Light")
  • Performer: Pekka Kuusisto (Violin)
  • Conductor: Hannu Lintu
  • Ensemble: Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra
  • Running Time: 26 min. 13 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary
  • Form: Concerto
  • Written: 2012

>Fagerlund, Sebastian : Ignite, for orchestra
  • Conductor: Hannu Lintu
  • Ensemble: Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra
  • Running Time: 29 min. 18 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary
  • Form: Orchestral
  • Written: 2010