Esa-Pekka Salonen: Out of Nowhere
Violin Concerto; Nyx
Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra, cond. Esa-Pekka Salonen, Leila Josefowicz (violin)
Deutsche Grammophon 4790628
The music of Esa-Pekka Salonen is like top design. It is controlled, streamlined, intelligent and functional – a pleasure, in other words. The Grawemeyer-awarded violin concerto (2009) written for Leila Josefowicz is contemporary music, which tastes of life and has grown from today’s world. Its rhythmic energy takes a hold of even the most hardened doubter. At times Salonen is surprisingly economic with the orchestra’s power, bringing Josefowicz’s virtuosity to the forefront. The whole is trancelike and impressive, giving hope to those who doubt the future of contemporary music.
The orchestral piece Nyx (2010) bows openly in the direction of French Impressionists. The piece, named after the Greek goddess of the night, caresses the ears and even pinches them once in a while. The Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra led by Salonen is a group of musicians in great condition, and its full sound is supported by the excellent recording.
Translation: Jonathan Mander