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Yoram Meyouhas has the cut and thrust of the fervent young virtuoso, and his concerto, cast in a single movement form with three main sections -- fast slow fast -- shows him relishing a richly-spiced palette and creating a sense of urgency, potency, meditation and joy. In this somewhat traditional framework the idiom reflects a freshness of inspiration that stems from his harmonic language, combining an angular atonality with a Messaien-like modality, and the idea of a unifying thematic idea stated at the outset, one which through its emphasis of dissonance, provides a referential harmonic sphere for long stretches of soloistic or tutti development.

The orchestration is one of its strengths, as in the very opening gestures, where the percussion outburst leads to the angular theme announced by unison woodwind, the full texture gradually building up to a climactic peak bolstered by harp and piano. Subsequent waves of intensity evolve with oceanic richness, embellished by harp glissandi, and some quite virtuoso marimba writing, the extended tutti interspersed by viola solos, which glimmer through the sea of sound and -- if occasionally swamped -- emerge in slacker parentheses where the momentum eases. Though there are rare dialogues between orchestra and soloist such as one interchange with horns, structurally the movement proceeds through a series of Baroque styled contrasts, where the viola either soliloquizes or joins the fray with frantic passagework.

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Copyright © 13 May 2008 Malcolm Miller, London UK


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