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Magnus Lindberg’s new orchestral work, Sculpture, received its premiere on 6 October with the Los Angeles Philharmonic conducted by Esa-Pekka Salonen.

The score is dedicated to Frank Gehry, architect of Disney Hall, and Lindberg’s music explores the sonic spaces of the new concert venue. As well as deploying antiphonal brass in the final section, the work as a whole reconfigures the orchestra from the bass register upwards, eliminating violins altogether:

"The result is a lot of low instruments — pairs of contrabassoons, pairs of tubas and Wagner tubas, pairs of pianos and harps mellowing out the whoops for joy. The violas are the highest strings… Disney Hall is especially happy with bass notes, and Lindberg gave it its fill."

"The score is sophisticated yet immediately engrossing… The bouncy fanfare figures are not blatant but more like a filigree. The instrumental texture is often fast-moving and complex. A Sibelius sense of mysterious winds blowing everything around is strong at first…"

"In the middle, Sculpture turns into a miniature concerto for orchestra, focusing on different instrumental sections competing to be the most dazzling. At the end the organ came rumbling in, lingering "Zarathustra"-like in its low register. Tubas and other brass instruments took positions around the hall…The piece climaxes with rousing Stravinskyan rhythms. The score's 23 minutes fly by. The performance was spectacular…The orchestral writing is that of a master."
Los Angeles Times

>  Further information on Work: Sculpture

Photo: © Hanya Chlala/ArenaPAL

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