The Fifth Symphony is a work of considerable calm, often constructed using modal, polyphonic strands which become progressively more chromatic, and with some unexpected eruptions, recalling at times Kancheli or Vasks. There is a lushness to Rypdal's orchestral palette and harmonic vocabulary, however which suggests a somewhat Gallic orientation (the third movement even recalls Poulenc). The fourth movement, as with the Double Concerto, seems to me to be the heart of the matter, alternating a rhythmic bird-like, chattering polyphony with driving brass and thundering drums and, once more, a Kancheli-like calm with shattering explosions. Rypdal's voice is an individual one and he has much to say; he is, in addition, a superb orchestrator, and the Riga Festival Orchestra, whose clear, sharp sound is caught to perfection, does his music full justice. An extraordinary disc.
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