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Dacapo - The National Music Anthology of Denmark

Format:  CD

Catalogue Number:  8.226034

Barcode:  636943603420

Release month:  May 2009

Period:  Late 20th Century


Poul Ruders: Concertos

04 January 2010  Classics Today
David Hurwitz


Poul Ruders is a fine composer, but like many modern masters he often seems to be at his best when working with other people's tunes. When he applies his quirky orchestral imagination to Purcell's witches (from Dido and Aeneas), as in the Concerto in Pieces, or to Vivaldi's Four Seasons, as in the Violin Concerto No. 1, the results are nothing less than brilliant. Monodrama is a percussion concerto, which is a silly concept to begin with (and I say this as a percussionist), but Ruders' skillful exploitation of atmosphere and love of alarming sounds go a long way toward justifying the work's 30-minute length.

The performances here are absolutely first rate. Concerto in Pieces has no extended solos; it's a "concerto for orchestra", and every section of the Aarhus Symphony does a splendid job. Erik Heide plays the Violin Concerto with an ideal combination of Baroque elegance and modern grit. In Monodrama, Mathias Reumert bangs away with unapologetic gusto, and the sonics permit Ruders' often complex textures to register naturally, with exemplary clarity. I can think of no better introduction to Ruders' music than this appealing new disc.

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