Lindberg: Graffiti, Seht die Sonne

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LABELS: Ondine
WORKS: Graffiti; Seht die Sonne
PERFORMER: Helsinki Chamber Choir; Finnish Radio SO/Sakari Oramo


Lindberg’s phenomenal success has been based exclusively upon instrumental music. Now in his fifties, he has written his first mature vocal work, taking the mosaic-like text from graffiti found on the walls of Pompeii. New forces bring out new textures: never before has Stravinsky’s influence (one the composer has always admitted) been so audible in this ‘monumental’ Latin setting.

Lindberg is still very much present, however, as the fragments – sometimes bawdy, sometimes profound – are used less for their meaning than as a launch-pad for an idiosyncratic exploration of sonority; this may be why the recording rather favours the orchestra over the chorus.  

Seht die Sonne is more familiar territory, with the music very much in the same vein as his recent Violin and Clarinet Concertos: layers of sumptuous harmony melt into each other, masterfully controlled by one of the great modern orchestrators.


The strong connection to these earlier works gives an occasional, detrimental sense of musical déjà vu; the truly individual moments are the most affecting – particularly the ethereal conclusion. In both works the orchestra under Sakari Oramo is a treasure trove of colour. Neil Smith