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Hillborg: Clarinet Concerto, Violin Concerto, Etc / Salonen


Release Date: 05/20/2003 
Label:  Ondine   Catalog #: 1006   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Anders Hillborg
Performer:  Martin FröstAnna Lindal
Conductor:  Esa-Pekka Salonen
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 5 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

Anders Hillborg (b. 1954) is one of those "texture guys" who throws everything but the kitchen sink into a piece in somewhat Schnittkean fashion, and seems to have great fun doing it. There's a certain anonymity to this style of composition--it's almost what musicologists would call a "common practice", but there's also no denying the fact that Hillborg practices his craft very well and that these smashingly performed and vibrantly recorded pieces present him in the best possible light.

The Clarinet Concerto is a very ambitious work that sustains its 28-minute length with ease. It does just about everything you can do with a woodwind instrument, and probably a few things that you shouldn't attempt at home,
Read more covering a huge range of expression and even allowing a surprising touch of humor (note the quotation from Tosca near the beginning and the bits of pseudo-pop music throughout). Hillborg's "al fresco" style of orchestration works particularly well in both this and the violin concerto, where he finds any number of fascinating and voluptuous instrumental textures to act as musical "frames" within which his soloist cavorts about with abandon. Freely dissonant but with strong tonal leanings, both concertos are just plain fun, especially when played as well as they are here by Martin Fröst (clarinet) and Anna Lindal (violin).

Liquid Marble is rather less interesting: evidently the composer had lava and magma in mind when writing it, but what he actually achieved comes off sounding like so much chromatic sludge. It rises to a nicely violent climax, but there doesn't seem to be much substance to what obviously is intended to be both brilliant and terrifying at the same time. Still, it's only 10 minutes long, and others may enjoy it more than I did. There's no denying the excellence of the performance under Esa-Pekka Salonen, nor does this single caveat in any way diminish the appeal of this very well recorded disc as a fine way to make the acquaintance of a talented and very enjoyable composer.

--David Hurwitz, ClassicsToday.com
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Works on This Recording

1.
Concerto for Clarinet by Anders Hillborg
Performer:  Martin Fröst (Clarinet)
Conductor:  Esa-Pekka Salonen
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1998; Sweden 
2.
Concerto for Violin by Anders Hillborg
Performer:  Anna Lindal (Violin)
Conductor:  Esa-Pekka Salonen
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1990-1992; Sweden 
3.
Liquid Marble by Anders Hillborg
Conductor:  Esa-Pekka Salonen
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1995; Sweden 

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