The Boston Symphony Orchestra has a long tradition of commissioning and performing important new music, and the four works on this album were commissioned and premiered by the orchestra and its conductor Andris Nelsons during the first years of his tenure. Eric Nathan takes us on a journey through a series of interconnected worlds whereas George Tsontakis marks the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death in a series of Sonnets for English horn and orchestra. Timo Andres carries on ‘conversations’ with composers of the past while Sean Shepherd has been inspired by five giants of artistic modernism.
Here we have four young composers whose works were premiered in 2016 and 2017, threeRead more —Nathan, Anders, and Shepherd — having progressed through the Boston Symphony’s Tanglewood Music Center. All are writing in a musical language I describe as modern tonality, and offers a sound-scape acceptable to the ears of musically conservative audiences. The sound quality can be termed punchy, with abundant inner clarity. Much rehearsal time must have been required, the Boston Symphony, conducted by Andris Nelsons, sounding as if they perform these works regularly. A ‘must have’ disc for modernists.