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CD Review

Luxembourg International Composition Prize 2004

  • Jonathan Eato: Bling Bling Balaam
  • Matteo Franceschini: làbara
  • Satoru Ikeda: Fireworks
  • Chanaral Ortega-Miranda: Q'inti
  • Lin Wang: Lin Lang
Luxembourg Sinfonietta/Marcel Wengler
Editions LGNM404 May 2004 62mins

This truly international competition has gone from strength to strength. The present CD is the fruit of 134 anonymous submissions of scores by composers of any age from 37 countries; the judges must have had a hard task.

Five chosen works were recorded live; all of them rewarding to hear. Invidious to choose, but I would say the jury got it about right. So did the audience which opted for the Chinese composer Lin Wang for her sparkling piece, which took full advantage of the unusual composition of the Luxembourg Sinfonietta, an unusual ensemble including three saxophones, tenor trombone, tuba, mandolin, accordion, percussion. Preparation was clearly thorough and the recording is of demonstration class.

Most of the composers have varied international study and performance CVs, and they bring a poetic sensibility into choosing and mixing contemporary composing techniques. There is also a sense of joy and sheer pleasure in composing and in sound worlds which comes across, no sterile academicism.

Chanaral Ortega-Miranda, the first prizewinner, is inspired by an Inca legend; Lin Wang's Lin lang means a piece of fine jade, and is dedicated to my parents far away from Saarland, where she had been studying. Satoru Ikeda dreamed his Fireworks, rather as Stravinsky had his Octet. The Italian Matteo Franceschini takes a melody through many moods, finishing with an ethereal marimba cadenza. The Englishman Jonathan Eato is a man of many parts; he refers to modern dance culture in his piece, and runs jazz provision at Exeter.

This CD, together with many of music by Luxembourg composers, is available from Editions LGNM

Copyright © 2005, Peter Grahame Woolf