Péter Eötvös has led a varied career: as a composer of works for theater, film, and the concert hall; as a collaborator in electronic music with Karlheinz Stockhausen and Pierre Boulez; as the director of EnsembleInterContemporain for over a decade; and as a conductor, leading major orchestras around the world. Gliding, Eötvös' 2019 release on BMC, presents four orchestral pieces written in the early 21st century. The earliest is Jet Stream (2002), a trumpet concerto, here featuring Håkan Hardenberger as soloist, and this work was followed by The Gliding of the Eagle in the Skies (2011), Dialog mit Mozart (2016), and Alle vittime senza nome (2017), all reflecting aspects of experimental compositional techniques as well as a clear-headed appreciation of the orchestra's technical capabilities. As a practical matter, Eötvös has focused on what works in a given piece, and despite preconceptions of difficulty or inaccessibility because of his involvement in the European serialist avant-garde, Eötvös' music is quite approachable and enjoyable. His use of tone colors and chamber-like textures in an orchestral context reflects his hands-on education as a conductor. Just as Mahler honed his orchestration skills over his years as a conductor and composer, so too has Eötvös, and his performances with the Frankfurt Radio Symphony are meticulous and authoritative, showcasing his exceptional musicianship and thorough attentiveness to instrumental sonorities.
AllMusic Review by Blair Sanderson
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