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Short measure but the music is attractive and diverse. The flute concertino Portrait of Zhou was inspired by a young boy from China, whom Paus met as a result of a group of monks’ involvement in a folk dance show. Some of his music for that show was recast (the soloist, here the excellent Tom Andreasson, represents Zhou); the central ‘Meditation’ is the most imaginative, elusive music.

The Marble Songs for solo oboe d’amore, inspired by sculptor Håkan Fagerås, is pipingly improvisatory, one moment referring to Tristan’s spirit, the next presenting two chaconnes of different speeds simultaneously. The glacial Shostakovich In Memoriam meditates on Shostakovich’s musical signature DSCH; Ree is a most ruminative soloist, first among equals. Paus also seems to take inspiration from other art forms: Emanuel Vigeland’s mausoleum was the catalyst for Vita for solo violin.

The whispered confidences of Love’s Last Rites showcases Kraggerud’s stunning legato in its timeless themes. Fascinating music, well recorded.

BRYCE MORRISON Read the full review on Agora Classica

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