Cover painting by Alexis Napoliello
This disc combines two spectacular concert performances and two studio recordings of works by Danish composer Poul Ruders. The disc opens with a performance from Copenhagen of Ruders’s brilliant tone poem, “Fairytale” for large orchestra, performed by Orkester Norden, conducted by the then twenty year old Swedish wunderkind, Stefan Solyom. “Fairytale” is based on a passage from one of Hans Christian Andersen’s lesser known fairytales, “The Wind Tells about Waldemar Daae and his Daughters”, a mighty allegory about the transitoriness of Life, and the inevitable victory of Death (alias the wind), whose scything ravaging is sublimely depicted by Andersen in these few, truly breathtaking lines: ‘And Winter rushed, Winter and Summer they rushed, and they rush, like I rush, like the howling snow, the flurrying apple blossom, the scurrying foliage; rush! rush! The people too!’ Next, the noted British composer/pianist, Thomas Adès, plays Ruders’s dramatic “Piano Sonata No. 2″ in a live performance from the Aldeburgh Festival. Duo piano team Quattro Mani and percussionist David Colson essay Ruders’s granitic “De Profundis”, and a newly re-mastered version of Ruders’s thrilling “Concerto in Pieces”, with Sir Andrew Davis leading the BBC Symphony Orchestra, brings this disc to a blazing conclusion.