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Konsertrecension: Icelandic pianokraft well worth waiting for

Contemporary classical music is rarely a hot topic in the same way as literature. Not even if it is awarded with the Nordic council's prize, the icelandic composer Anna Thorvaldsdottirs ”Dreaming” of 2012.

Partly, it is because it usually takes time before the music reaches its audience. The piece has been recorded on the disc, but has not been performed live in Sweden, until now, in the week – ten years after its creation. But this music is worth the wait.

Read more: Iceland symphony orchestra with Víkingur Ólafsson in the Gothenburg concert hall

Thorvaldsdottir up a sounding community, where the musicians are instructed to wear the long tones as a delicate flower. Similar threads stretching out in time and space, among the rattling dream-catcher and the seventh trumpet that sends signals out into the universe. Dirigentens task is to create conditions for interaction and then sit back in a more passive role as a guardian of the individual parts. It's become a stagnant music with a constantly shifting landscape, where orkesterkollektivet operates in a private loop.

Music from the Island have a tendency to bring out the natural metaphors. But the eruptive power of Daníel Bjarnasons piano concerto ”Processions” with his Víkingur Ólafsson as the superb soloist is more reminiscent of Russian constructivism than on the volcanoes.

Bjarnason is not for grand gestures or salongsminimalistiskt sheer solopassager and melodic honeyed themes that reveal the composer's popular musical collaborations with, among other things, Sigur Rós. The structure often provides the feeling of a soloist in a headwind, but also opens up for the most like chamber music, the game before the third movement gallops ahead with a steady beat.

the epithet ”Islands Glenn Gould” – upheld on Friday the applause with a Bachpreludium like the encore. And if the Spanish conductor Gustavo Gimeno piloted the Swedish radio symphony orchestra by the contemporary repertoire with controlled calm, he showed a more emotional side of the Tchaikovsky sixth symphony ”Pathetique”.

It was a överdramatiserad interpretation unless otherwise twisted out of each of the toes the composer said to have been struck down while he was composing.

Read more concert reviews here.

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