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Camille KERGER Ekatvam
Cello Concerto
Suite Concertante
RTL Symphony Orchestra/Marcel Wengler with Georges Mallach (cello) Marco Putz (saxophones)
LGNM Anthology of Luxembourg Music Vol. 3 [69 mins]
LGNM Luxembourg Society for Contemporary Music

The LGNM series gives great support to native Luxembourgisch composers by recording many of their works for full symphony orchestra, well recorded (often from live concerts) and usually under the able direction of Marcel Wengler.

Kerger (b.1957 started as a trombonist. His powerful lament for his mother, composed in 1988, is a substantial 17 min. single movement in an accessible, non doctrinaire musical language, expressing a wide range of moods with effective orchestration.

Civitareale was born 1954. His cello concerto dates from 1986, in tribute to a pioneer of the country's new music, René Mertzig. The first movement is elegiac, but never lachrymose, and the second a scherzo finale in sonata-rondo form, with a huge cadenza followed by a return to material from the beginning of the whole concerto. Whether it will be fully effective in concert is hard to be sure, because the cello is recorded too far forward for my taste.

Rollinger (b.1969), the youngest of the four, seems on this showing to be the most conservative. He is represented by a continuous melody for alto saxophone, exploiting the instrument's closeness to the human voice, supported by strings with material based on superimposed fourths. It sounds to be a delight to play and is easy to listen to.

Most interesting was the five movement Suite Concertante by Marco Kraus (b. 1955) each featuring a different saxophone in ascending order from baritone to sopranino. There is ample scope for full exploration of this instrument, including modern advanced techniques, and I would expect saxophonists to be queuing up for opportunities to play it. The orchestration is clear and transparent, and the performance impressive in its precision and confidence. Marco Putz is a founding member of the New Saxophone Quartet of Luxembourg, which was featured during the ISCM World Music Days.

Peter Grahame Woolf

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