Fire Ritual

Tan Dun – Fire Ritual violin concertos

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This excellent disc of violin concertos showcases Dun’s dexterity and imagination in writing for the instrument and features radiant and sophisticated performances from the violinist Eldbjørg Hemsing…[In Rhapsody and Fantasia] Dun explores every inch of the solo violin with a depth of imagination that calls to mind Berg’s groundbreaking concerto…[Fire Ritual] blends the fierce with the meditative, and is performed with integrity and precision by Hemsing to complete this fine disc.

BBC Music Magazine

The violin concerto Fire Ritual – ‘A music ritual for the Victims of War’ – was written for and premièred by Eldbjørg Hemsing. The musical narrative is divided into four parts: Cruel Wars, Innocent People, Mantras of the Heavenly Birds and Eternity. These four themes create a musical ceremony for the victims of war, for those who have suffered through human history, and a prayer for eternal peace.

Fire Ritual unfolds and extends from a single note D (‘re’ on the solfège scale) – Re is a prefix used with the meaning ‘again’: REnew, REstart, REsurrect… As a ritual and ceremonial rite, the work is centred on the note ‘re’, calling for the REturn of souls and the REbirth of all victims of war so that they may RElive another life, and love once more.

Reviews

BBC Music Magazine

This excellent disc of violin concertos showcases Dun’s dexterity and imagination in writing for the instrument and features radiant and sophisticated performances from the violinist Eldbjørg Hemsing…[In Rhapsody and Fantasia] Dun explores every inch of the solo violin with a depth of imagination that calls to mind Berg’s groundbreaking concerto…[Fire Ritual] blends the fierce with the meditative, and is performed with integrity and precision by Hemsing to complete this fine disc.

May 2019

Gramophone

While some of Tan Dun’s ideas may seem rather overextended at times…what comes across most powerfully here is the dynamic three-way synergetic split between Tan Dun as conductor, Eldbjørg Hemsing’s striking characterisation of the solo violin’s material, and the sheer force and power of the Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra. Recommended.

April 2019

MusicWeb International

Eldbjørg Hemsing shows a powerful affinity for this very visual, symbolic music, while the BIS SACD sound is nothing short of magnificent.

April 2019

Presto Classical

Dun casts his stylistic net wide in these two East-meets-West concertos (indeed both scores veer into ‘everything but the kitchen sink’ territory in places), and their language is immediately accessible and attractive; highlights include the berceuse-like interlude of ‘Rock the Violin in Rhapsody’, where the soft-focus cinematic atmosphere is undercut by unsettling orchestral glissandi, and the high-energy sparring between marimba and violin in the opening track.

March 2019