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Classical - Released September 14, 2018 | Ondine

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Finnish composer Magnus Lindberg memorialized Witold Lutoslawski in the 1994 orchestral work Aura, and he has gradually emerged as Lutoslawski's successor. He has elaborated on Lutoslawski's big orchestral works that replace traditional harmony with a dynamic of stasis and motion, and as his own style has developed he has been able to control large ensembles effectively as he has landed prestigious composer-in-residence spots with the New York Philharmonic and London Philharmonic. Tempus Fugit was commissioned by the Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra to celebrate the 100th anniversary of Finnish independence. If you think you're getting a set of patriotic fanfares, well, the Scandinavian mind does not work that way; Lindberg delivers a dense orchestral score consistent with his productions in New York and London. His music may be of the sort more beloved by orchestral musicians and conductors, who really get to show their stuff, than by listeners, but those wanting a place to start with Lindberg would do well to choose these accessible scores. Sample the dramatic third movement of Tempus Fugit, with its flashes of piano against a dark landscape. The Violin Concerto No. 2, only slightly older than Tempus Fugit, features a fluid performance of its difficult solo part by Frank Peter Zimmermann. Recommended, and beautifully recorded by Ondine at the Helsinki Music Centre. © TiVo
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Classical - Released May 1, 2020 | Ondine

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This new album by the Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra and conductor Hannu Lintu includes two of Magnus Lindberg’s (born 1958) recent compositions featuring soprano Anu Komsi as soloist in Accused. Magnus Lindberg is among the leading figures in today’s contemporary music and the Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra enjoys a particularly close relationship with the composer. Vocal music, with the exception of the award-winning work Graffiti (2009) for choir and orchestra, is a rare medium among Lindberg’s output. Accused (2014) is Lindberg’s first work written for a solo voice and orchestra. The work was jointly commissioned by the London Philharmonic, Radio France, the Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra, the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, the Cleveland Orchestra and Carnegie Hall. The work was premiered in London in January 2015. Lindberg chose extracts from actual interrogations in three historically and politically different situations: from the French Revolution, an extract from East Germany’ Stasi archives, and part of the Bradley (now Chelsea) Manning interrogation. Accused reflects universal human values that transcend transitory politics. Two Episodes (2016) is an orchestral work that was written for the London Prom's in 2016 to accompany Beethoven’s 9th Symphony. With this in mind the work is scored for a similar orchestra that is required to play Beethoven’s 9th. Lindberg also concluded his work on the same A–E fifth that opens Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony, meaning that the transition can be without a pause. Nevertheless, Two Episodes is an independent work and can naturally be performed without the Beethoven. Beethoven’s musical thinking left an imprint on the work, though in the form of distanced references and spiritual kinship rather than stylistic influences. Although textural similarities to Beethoven can be identified in the music, they blend seamlessly into the colourful tapestry that principally seems to hark from the orchestral brilliance of Ravel and Debussy. © Ondine
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Keyboard Concertos - Released May 7, 2013 | Da Capo

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Finnish composer Magnus Lindberg was the composer-in-residence for the New York Philharmonic Orchestra between 2009 and 2012, and the album at hand may be taken as representative of what results when a fast-rising composer meets well-established symphony orchestra. All three works here receive their recorded premieres. The Piano Concerto No. 2, which receives a stirring performance from Yefim Bronfman, is somewhat different in style from the orchestral works that bookend it and perhaps a stronger work. It's a brilliant, propulsive piece with a fine nocturne of a slow movement. There's a lot of density and some other styles thrown into the mix, but essentially it begins where Bartók's Piano Concerto No. 2 leaves off. In all three pieces there is a strong sense of one thing inevitably following another, and the concerto never drags. Lindberg is one of those composers who emerged from training in electronic music to write pieces for conventional instruments, and the orchestral works EXPO and Al largo (which includes a piano part) reflect that. They're full of exotic orchestral textures, and once again Lindberg has a nifty talent for knitting things together. The basic material of both works, however, left this listener without compulsion to hear it again. The Dacapo label's engineers get terrific sound from Avery Fisher Hall. © TiVo
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Classical - Released January 1, 2004 | Ondine

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Because Magnus Lindberg has absorbed myriad avant-garde influences and explored the full range of modernist techniques, his works overflow with fleeting associations -- from Messiaen and Boulez to Ferneyhough and Xenakis -- and overwhelm the listener with startling and even ferocious inventions. Lindberg's music is crammed with events and is often layered in a montage style, creating dense textures similar to the spectral school's stacked sounds. Yet movement is also important to Lindberg, and his elaborate pieces churn with restless activity and forward momentum. Brilliantly colorful and continually animated, the Piano Concerto (1990-1994) is a true test for the pianist, and Lindberg himself performs the unrelenting solo part with the Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Esa-Pekka Salonen. At times delicate and shimmering, the concerto is fairly accessible, and represents the clarified style Lindberg has employed since 1988. More brutally direct and complex, Kraft (1985) contrasts highly active instrumental lines in its foreground with thick agglomerations of orchestral material in the background. In Lindberg's updated concerto grosso format, a small group of clarinet, cello, piano, and percussion is pitted against the massive orchestra, and the interactions between the Toimii Ensemble and FRSO are highly complicated and often hard to sort out. Ondine's recorded sound is clear and resonant. © TiVo
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Classical - Released September 17, 2001 | Sony Classical

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Classical - Released January 1, 2000 | Deutsche Grammophon Classics

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Classical - Released September 30, 2008 | Naxos

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Classical - Released January 29, 2013 | Toccata Classics

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Rock - Released April 13, 2018 | Playground Music

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Classical - Released July 27, 2010 | Ondine

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Classical - Released June 20, 1998 | Megadisc Classics

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Classical - Released November 23, 2011 | New Focus Recordings

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International Contemporary Ensemble, which was founded in 2001, consists of over 30 musicians, but their performances generally draw on only a handful at a time. This recording features a dozen players, but most of the works are trios or quartets for unconventional combinations of instruments and voice. The unifying element in the repertoire on this CD is its unapologetic modernism. This is music with a spiky, sinewy physicality that makes no concession to easy accessibility, and there is a good mix of pieces by established and emerging composers. Abandoned Time, by Dai Fujikura, includes almost the whole ensemble and is essentially a small concerto for electric guitar, played here by Daniel Lippel. Its language may be modernist, but it's not the academic modernism of the late twentieth century; the piece is strongly flavored with a loose-limbed energy and grittiness reminiscent of Bang on a Can. Kaija Saariaho's Adjö, for voice, flute, and guitar, requires the singer and instrumentalists to use a variety of extended techniques and is notable for the sense of frantic disjunction that it creates with instruments that are most often used for their lyrical quality. Vicissitudes No. 1, by Du Yun, which includes both Western and traditional Chinese instruments, is characterized by frenzied anxiety, but has an expanse of serene equipoise at its center. The ensemble plays with exquisite precision, understanding, and fierce energy and engagement; this is a group to watch out for. The sound is exceptionally clear, crisp, and well-defined. © TiVo