Turnage: On Opened Ground; Texan Tenebrae; Lullaby for Hans; Riffs and Refrains; Mambo, Blues and Tarantella

Reviewed on Thu 26 Sep, 2013

72 minutes of Mark-Anthony Turnage’s music, including On Opened Ground, a viola concerto for Yuri Bashmet that Lawrence Power has made his own. Its urban and neon aspects, the Miles Davis-like jazz, and solitude and angst rubbing shoulders in sinewy argument, are vividly given, Markus Stenz conducting; this emotional and regretful music holds the concentration. Texan Tenebrae packs a punch under Marin Alsop, contrasted with the intensely lyrical Lullaby for Hans (Vladimir Jurowski), with apt Henze-like expressionist arches. Riffs and Refrains is for clarinettist Michael Collins (with Alsop back in charge): he has a ball with the wild first movement and shows a softer side in the second. Mambo, Blues and Tarantella disguises a violin concerto for Christian Tetzlaff; Jurowski returns, but by now the vivid scoring, spunky rhythms and powerful poetics pall. These London Philharmonic concert performances are impressive and superbly recorded.
–Colin Anderson