Tampere Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Eri Klas.
1. Phantasmagoria on "The Ghosts of Versailles"* 22:14
2. To Music 5:09
3. Fantasia on an Ostinato 15:40
4. Three Hallucinations from "Altered States"* 15:09
*World premiere recording.
Ondine's exciting new John Corigliano collection presents what presumably is the world-premiere orchestral recording of Phantasmagoria (Yo-Yo Ma and Emmanuel Ax offered a chamber version in 2001--type Q2831 in Search Reviews), a fantasy on his opera The Ghost of Versailles. Corigliano fashions a compelling narrative incorporating the opera's main thematic elements and juxtaposing its wildly diverse musical styles, from bracing otherworldly modernism (including his trademark "doppler effect" method of bending tones) to neoclassical (featuring fleeting quotes from Mozart's Marriage of Figaro and Rossini's Barber of Seville)--albeit viewed through a refracted lens. Though like much of Corigliano's work the music leaps unexpectedly from serenity to frenzy and back again, the end brings a satisfying feeling of wholeness and completion. The brief To Music exhibits many of the same characteristics, while the brilliant Fantasia on an Ostinato takes the Allegretto of Beethoven's Symphony No. 7 as its point of departure, though this is not obvious until the closing bars.
Finally, Three Hallucinations features what probably is Corigliano's best-known music, though maybe not consciously so for most who hear it. Corigliano's stunning film score for Altered States set new standards in marrying music to cinematic images, and it established the composer as a formidable artistic force. The suite extracts 15 minutes from the complete score, beginning with the opening sequence "Sacrifice", continuing with "Hymn" (an improvisation on Rock of Ages), and concluding with the deliciously barbaric Ritual, with its jostling, disjointed rhythms and screaming orchestral sonorities. Eri Klas and the Tampere Philharmonic capture the wild spirit of this music as they offer performances of ferocious energy and virtuoso execution. Ondine's exceptionally vivid and dynamic sound make this disc a must-have.
--Victor Carr Jr, ClassicsToday.com