New music for orchestra -
'... a hypnotically appealing experience.'
The enterprise of this non profit making recording company has
provided us with much orchestral and choral music over the
past two decades or so that could not otherwise have been made
available in the USA and Europe and featured many composers
who, in their own countries, are highly regarded and well
rewarded for their work. VMM has made sure that at least one
major work by a composer unfamiliar to many of us can be
presented to an international public interested in discovering
something new and curious in an exploration of musical
landscapes little known to outsider nationals. The
discoveries are rarely of gold, but often intriguing.
years old, the group of orchestral works on this disc are for
the most part inoffensive and uncomplicated. Jack Gallagher
is a New Yorker, born 1947, and his Symphony in One
Movement: Threnody is the most substantial of the new pieces,
lasting just over thirty minutes, and this seems to be its
disadvantage, for its material does not sound as if it is made
for such a grand architectural frame. The composer has made
a kind of 'concerto for orchestra' and features the harp and
clarinet in its later stages as concertante instruments. It
is about loss and loneliness, longing and despair, and
although its second half intends to be an expression of
optimism, it rarely succeeds in pulling itself away from
melancholy -- fine for a few minutes but heavy for a half hour.
But it ends well [listen -- track 1, 29:06-29:59].
Copyright © 4 February 2004
Patric Standford, Wakefield UK