London Philharmonic Orchestra, SEREBRIER: Symphony No. 2, “Partita” / Fantasia / Violin Sonata / Winterreise

Amelia Raitt

By Amelia Raitt

on 04.22.11 in Reviews

The eight-time Grammy nominated José Serebrier may be best known as one of the most recorded conductors of his generation, but his compositions are equally well-renowned by anyone who has the pleasure to hear them.

Serebrier's Second Symphony (“Partita”) was written at the young age of 19 and premiered by the venerable National Symphony Orchestra in Washington D.C. Lauded as “[the] sort of musical Armageddon you're not likely to forget” by CD Now, the piece opens as an inviting and buoyant showcase for the Latin influences of the Uruguayan composer. Soon, though, the apocalypse comes as the joyous sounds give way to a “Poema elegiaco” and a harried fugue finale.

Bundled up with the symphony are a few other Serbrier penned works. “Winterreise,” a recent piece, is perhaps the most interesting: it takes Haydn, Tchaikovsky and his own “Violin Sonata” (which also appears here) as jumping-off points, but true to its title (“Winter Trip”), it grows distinctly cold and grim by its end.