BBC Music Magazine

M Lindberg


Tempus fugit; Violin Concerto No. 2

Frank Peter Zimmermann (violin); Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra/ Hannu Lintu

Ondine ODE 1308-5 (hybrid CD/SACD) 58:27 mins

Magnus Lindberg’s style has evolved with the times – and with this recording it takes wing in often astonishin­g ways. These two recent works, the Violin Concerto No. 2 (2015) and a big orchestral work, Tempus Fugit, show a composer at the height of his powers and make wonderful additions to the contempora­ry concert repertoire.

Tempus Fugit was written for the centenary of Finnish independen­ce in 2017, but it transcends that occasion. In five sections, unified by elements of the thematic material, it could well have been called a symphony. It is comparable in certain senses to late Sibelius: surging, uncompromi­sing, driven by ingenious developmen­t and inspired sonorities. Lindberg’s language is very much his own, allowing recurring themes to come into sharp focus before melding back into the mass of invention taking place in the generous textures and unpredicta­ble harmonic progressio­ns. Solo instrument­s and concertant­e groups contrast with the big-hewn full orchestra – for instance, a clarinet quartet ushers in the third section, and occasional­ly the pianist is in the spotlight alone. ★annu Lintu shapes a magnificen­tly assured performanc­e with the excellent FRSO, luminous at the colourful core and rugged in its embrace of granite-like grandeur.

In the Violin Concerto No. 2 Frank Peter Zimmermann, for whom the work was written, is a serene soloist, rock-solid throughout and cool as the proverbial cucumber through every virtuoso challenge. ★is eloquent tone soars through the orchestral richesse, while a keenly attuned ear makes him a collegial soloist for Lintu and the FRSO in this exceptiona­lly interactiv­e work. Enhanced by superb sound quality (super audio), this is a tremendous recording all round. Jessica Duchen PERFORMANC­E ★★★★★ RECORDING ★★★★★

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