Coinciding with her 80th birthday, this substantial addition to Sofia Gubaidulina’s discography on BIS presents two recent works by the grande dame of contemporary music. As always with this composer, the music is intimately connected to her religious and philosophical beliefs. In the violin concerto In tempus praesens the numbers 1 and 3 – derived from the Holy Trinity – play an important role, as well as the concept of ‘Sophia’, implying divine wisdom and the creative power of God. The work was premièred by Anne-Sophie Mutter at the 2007 Lucerne Festival, and belongs to the most frequently performed instrumental concertos by a living composer. The soloist here is Vadim Gluzman who has received wide acclaim for his previous recordings on BIS (‘Gluzman brings a compelling intensity, the sound firm but unerringly beautiful.’ The Sunday Times). Another pillar of Gubaidulina’s musical thinking is rhythm, as she herself has emphasized: ‘When I considered which of the three fundamental aspects of the musical texture… might represent the “roots”, it became clear to me that it was rhythm.’ It is therefore not surprising that she has written numerous works featuring percussion, the most recent one being the concerto Glorious Percussion which received its first performance in 2008 by an international group of eminent percussionists adopting the work’s title as its name. In this world première recording of the work, the ensemble appears with the Lucerne Symphony Orchestra under the acclaimed conductor Jonathan Nott providing expert support here as well as in the opening work on the album.
"... Vadim Gluzman should be totally unfazed by the prospect of being compared to the work’s celebrated dedicatee, delivering as he does a performance of tremendous power, the Lucerne players under Jonathan Nott’s direction really grasping the music’s intrinsic colour and its sense of purpose... These outstanding recordings were made live ... the BIS team has done a superb job in editing them for this release."
Ivan Moody - International Record Review - March 2012
Performance **** Recording *****
Calum MacDonald - BBC Music magazine - March 2012
Recording of the Month
BIS has come up with a real winner here. It will likely rank high on my list of best recordings of 2012.
Leslie Wright - musicwebinternational.com - 7 February 2012