The Classical Source
. . .Vir was on-hand to say a few words before we listened to Cradled Between Earth and Sky. He talked about the use of glissandos to aurally represent the curves of “Cloud Gate” and was looking to create an orchestral sheen. This latter was magically achieved – the ‘performing space’ and the music seemed as one, and although glissandos (and other effects) can, in general terms, pall, Vir ‘gets away with it’ because his 30-minute piece is strong on atmosphere and in its symphonic construction. There is also an intensity that sustains the duration, and with it a fine ear for orchestral density, sonority and blend that uses a full orchestra (including an extensive percussion section utilised for variety not decibels and which requires ‘only’ five players) with sensitivity as well as power, aggression, and much dissonance, which is tempered by mosaic-like scoring and lighter, dancing textures that all eventually come to rest with ‘string trio’ solos (Clio Gould, Caroline Harrison and Susan Monks) that held the attention. . . Alexander Rumpf (General Music Director of the Oldenburg State Theatre and with a discography that includes three obscure operas, by Bloch, Pfitzner and Rosenfeld) is clearly a dedicated conductor of contemporary music and led a convincing premiere. Worth catching the broadcast of the new pieces (the Beethoven isn’t scheduled, yet!) for the Vir does exert a magnetic pull.