Both pieces are gripping, but I found the second one to be especially breathtaking.
It is gigantic, wild and virile from the beginning to the end. The mysterious tone and progressive start evokes the awakening of a golem (the orchestra) under the stimulation of a firebird revolving around him (the violin)… The reference to Stravinsky should surprise no one. That firebird, its brother or great-nephew, is very active here, and no one could regret it, as it is infinitely more vocal and voluble than the Russian master’s.
Mrs Marta Lelek, violin soloist, graceful and frail as she appears on the cover photograph, lets nobody suspect she possesses the inordinate strength of a marvellous amazon. In her hands the instrument moves forward with a masterful drive, the firebird veers, darts this way and that, shrieks and chirps, tweets and cackles, stridulates and she constantly makes her vertiginous bow sing inarticulate sounds that come out nevertheless as precise, perfectly pitched and coherent as some unknown language.
What masterfully-wielded power ! Even when the orchestra rages – and God knows that it expresses itself often, percussions and brass fortissimo – the violin still leads the ball! Satanical! Staggering!
In many passages a strong beat is introduced (a rare process with Fiorini’s music), implacable and crushing, where one may see the heavy steps of Fate in the terrifying booming of the timpani, or the said golem driven by the crack of the whip, in a march that often pauses, while the violin takes up the same relentless rhythm, intrinsically more subtle, as if more feminine, with the atonal arpeggios of its superb, solo cadenzas. Delicate lacing between the majestic, imperial tapestries and drapings of the orchestra. What sonorous richness! Is this what Ms Ana Bocanegra Briasco (who reviews the symphony on the CD’s cover) means by Fiorini’s ”declamatory method”, in music like in poetry?
In Fiorini’s music, turned as it is towards hope and life, one is tempted to see the harbinger of a contemporary music that turns the page of the XXth century’s death-obsessed and despairing compositions. Those were too often penetrated with a morbid dryness that the times may have justified.
For those who like labels, and schools, we could suggest that of Post-modern Neo-Romanticism. But that is not really the point here, as Fiorini stands on his own. His music is immediately entrancing because it is tuned to the living, deliberately, in an overwhelmingly convincing manner. A living inevitably fraught with violence and anguished questioning, clatter and fury, but so magically under control, that to the last note, one remains transfixed, with pulse beating like after a breathless race.
These are twenty-five minutes of some of the most intense music I have ever heard.
RT @Sheppardskaerve Back from last night's premiere's and early music, and a thoughtful response to Michael Alec Rose's wonderful music. Thanks to Metier Stephen Sutton at @DivineArtRecord Diana Mathews, Ian Mortimer, Jonathan Haskell. Read here. musicweb-internation…