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Album Review

Magnus Lindberg “Aura / Engine” [DG 20/21] (cd)

cujo   7/5/2005   A Library

2 pieces from Finnish composer Magnus Lindberg, who grew up Finnish but thankfully ended up with a decidedly more continental and experimental bent.
Tr. 1-4. Aura (36:51): A large work for a late-Romantic-sized (i.e., big) orchestra whose emphasis is on tone and overall harmonic structure (most of which I can’t grasp). The opening 2 movements are long, and the final 2 are short. Listening in its entirety you can sense (but not really hear) a carefully-planned underlying structure. The 4 movements differ enough in color, but careful, they track together. Overall, the orchestration is incredibly incredibly dense, the mood is heavy but not negative, and there are many brilliant orchestral passages, many involving an international array of percussion. A concerto for orchestra, really.
Tr. 5. Engine (14:19): Incredible etude by Lindberg., showing off his more experimental nature. This piece was essentially composed by software written by Lindberg. This alone is a feat, but the success is that it doesn’t sound all that different from Aura!
Both pieces ably handled by Olly.

-Cujo, January 2005

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