Dean - Dramatis Personae; Francesconi - Hard Pace | BIS BIS2067

Dean - Dramatis Personae; Francesconi - Hard Pace

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Label: BIS

Cat No: BIS2067

Format: SACD

Number of Discs: 1

Genre: Orchestral

Release Date: 30th June 2017



Hakan Hardenberger (trumpet)
Gothenburg Symphony


John Storgards


Dean, Brett

Dramatos Personae for trumpet and orchestra

Francesconi, Luca

Hard Pace: Concerto for trumpet and orchestra


Hakan Hardenberger (trumpet)
Gothenburg Symphony


John Storgards


Ever since his very first disc, released by BIS some thirty years ago, Håkan Hardenberger has earned recognition for his performances of the classical repertory, but also as a pioneer of significant and vituosic new music for the trumpet. Collaborations with composers such as Takemitsu, Pärt, Henze, and H.K. Gruber have resulted in numerous works, of which the two recorded here are among the more recent.

Brett Dean’s concerto Dramatis personae is named after the term used for the list of characters in a stage work, and casts the soloist in the role of the ‘Hero’. Dean's protagonist is a complex one, however, with traits inspired by comic book super heros as well as the classical flawed heros of literature and legend: ‘Soliloquy’, the second movement, is a reference to Hamlet, while Charlie Chaplin’s character in Modern Times has inspired the work's finale, ‘The Accidental Revolutionary’.

If there is a hero in the concerto by Luca Francesconi, it is Miles Davis. In his comment sto the work, Francesconi talks of Davis as ‘a musician who transcends all labels’ with ‘a delicate, cracked sound’ and a voice which speaks directly to the listener. Hard Pace, the title of Francesconi’s work, is an allusion to a difficult journey, but it is also a conflation of the names of the performers for whom it was written: Hardenberger, Antonio Pappano and the Santa Cecilia Orchestra. On the present recording it is the Gothenburg Symphony and conductor John Storgårds who provide Håkan Hardenberger with expert support in these demanding and rewarding scores.


Not only is Dean’s piece as theatrical as its title would suggest, it also has a compelling downwards trajectory right from the ominous, Dohnányi-like bass melody that takes over soon after the concerto has pattered its way into being, rather like Dean’s Viola Concerto does. ... Luca Francesconi’s concerto Hard Pace couldn’t be more different but is just as special, perhaps even more so. ... Textures are spare, harmonies are rich, tension is high – not least as the trumpet is pressured into a treacherous ascent at the end of the first movement (the mirror image of Dean’s fallen hero).  Andrew Mellor
Gramophone August 2017
Gramophone Editor's Choice

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