Home | Reviews | Articles | Festivals | Competitions | Other | Contact Us

Nordic Cello Concertos

Nørgård: Cello Concerto No. 2 'Momentum'
Nordheim: Concerto for Cello and Chamber Orchestra
Saariaho: Cello Concerto No. 1

Jakob Kullberg (cello)
New Music Orchestra, Szymon Bywalec


This is an extraordinary and extraordinarily important CD. Three concertos, each both accessible and beyond doctrinaire modernism. Nørgård's was conceived and developed in close association with this marvellous cellist (the second movement a wedding present for Jakob). It takes the cello from the centre, through mutual copetition to "plural simultaneity", culminating "boundless infinity" - "a kind of inventory of social conditions" - "classicism that has assimilated the modern".The illustration [R] is unexplained and open to interpretation...

Nordheim's concerto is "a dramatic, sombre service", dealing with suffering, love, loneliness, death and darkness - culminating in explosions communications "the uncontrollable and overwhelming".

Saariaho introduces electronics, and treats abstractly of Sea, Space, Light and Sound, with cello improvisations in the first and last movements.

Produced and annotated in a thoughtful insert booklet (strong black on glossy white), this is a disc to hear again and again. One caveat; the information on the back cover, illustrated, is miniscule and hard to read - grey on black, sinful !

Peter Grahame Woolf