Named ‘2022 Composer of the Year’ by Musical America, Missy Mazzoli inhabits an exquisite and mysterious sound-world in which indie-rock sensibilities meet American minimalism, European modernism and classical traditions. The first woman ever to receive a commission from the Metropolitan Opera, she has also composed for prominent soloists, ensembles and orchestras around the world. Through her music, she reaches to the roots of tradition, inhabits and renovates older forms while using every resource at her command. Mazzoli, who &&&says that she likes “to tell stories”, always imagines actors, singers and dancers grappling with a situation, even when she composes instrumental works.
The album is bookended by two versions of the same work: loosely based on baroque idioms the violin concerto Dark with Excessive Bright is first heard with string orchestra accompaniment and then in a chamber version. The soloist is in both cases Peter Herresthal, who also performs Vespers for Violin, a piece for amplified violin and electronics using sampled organs, voices and strings, drenched in delay and distortion. Three orchestral works complete the programme: Sinfonia (for Orbiting Spheres), These Worlds in Us and Orpheus Undone in performances by the Arctic Philharmonic under Tim Weiss.