The latest BIS release with Sebastian Fagerlund’s orchestral music includes powerful performances of two works that belong to his most convincing achievements in this genre.
Nomade (2018), a concerto for cello and orchestra, consists of six movements and two short interludes. The beginning sets the melancholic and desolate atmosphere, introducing restless, dark orchestral powers and the lonely soaring of the solo cello. Contrasting elements appear in the second movement: pulsating, abrupt rhythms, and fanfare gestures. The broad fourth movement involves a drama of its own. The music begins softly and meditatively but grows stronger like a rising storm; the storm relents, but the peace that follows is a charged one. The rhythmic agitato character returns in the finale, even victoriously, but finally the music sinks to the depths.
Water Atlas (2017–2018) completes a trilogy of orchestral works begun with Stonework and Drifts. According to the sleeve note, the composer denies Water Atlas being programme music, but names the eternal cycle of water as his source of inspiration. In any case, the music quite readily conjures up images such as an Impressionist play of light on the waves. The one-movement work is structured by the contrast between calm and rhythmically more active passages, flowing into one another in a majestic stream.
Sebastian Fagerlund: Nomade & Water Atlas
Nicolas Altstaedt, cello; the Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra, cond. Hannu Lintu