Four Elements – Fanfare; Symphony in Fire, Water, Earth and Air; Choryn (Harp Concerto); Tarot Garden
Delphine Constantin-Reznik (harp); Nordic Chamber Orchestra/JoAnn Falletta, Patrik Ringborg
dbProductions DBCD 204 60:37 mins
Andrea Tarrodi reached a wide audience in 2020 when her piece Solus was premiered at the Last Night of the Proms. But even if the Swedish composer’s music is otherwise not a regular fixture in UK concert halls (as yet), a couple of recordings of her orchestral and chamber works already showcase her imaginative artistry – and this new recording with the Nordic Chamber Orchestra is a welcome addition to the collection.
The eye-catching bright paint splashes on the cover artwork are Tarrodi’s own; an artist as well as a composer, she has synaesthesia, and that twin ear and eye for colour, for seeing music as shapes, is one of her great strengths. She uses the orchestra like a painter’s palette; there’s a tactile, textured quality to the writing. And a strong elemental energy runs through this programme, linking two major works – Choryn, a harp concerto from 2020 and the Symphony in Fire, Water, Earth and Air of 2021 – via the brief Fanfare and characterful Tarot Garden.
With a magician’s flourish, the harp leads us into a different realm – Tarrodi was inspired by a book called A City of Light, in which the main character is drawn into the parallel world of Choryn. Here, the music moves between blissful repose and thrilling tension, as the percussion rumbles, the strings scurry and the brass flickers with Stravinsky-like power. Delphine Constantin-Reznik is the mesmerising soloist.
There’s a journey in the Symphony too, from the dark times of the pandemic to hope for the future. With one movement for each of the four elements – fire, water, earth and air – the piece begins with subterranean grumblings and ends with an airy violin disappearing into the stratosphere.