The Impermanence of Things

The Impermanence of Things
© NMC recordings

Michael Zev Gordon is a composer whose music is deeply engaged with the subjects of memory and loss, together with a search for serenity. These themes are central to the three large-scale works which comprise this new portrait album The Impermanence of Things, which will be released on NMC recordings on April 19.

The album opens with Bohortha, a seven-movement orchestral work performed by the BBC Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Jukka- Pekka Saraste, which explores our awareness of the passing of time with many small, contrasting fragments.
The Violin Concerto which follows is constructed more conventionally, with both the work's structure and expressive character being influenced by early exploratory sessions with the soloist, Carolin Widmann. Gordon has commented that he was inspired by ‘just how many nuances of singing she could bring to her instrument: intense and open, strained and fragile’. Lyrical melodies collide with dissonant clusters in this recording by the BBC National Orchestra of Wales conducted by Catherine Larsen-Maguire.

Conventions are again turned on their head in The Impermanence of Things for piano (Huw Watkins), ensemble (London Sinfonietta) and electronics. Rather than playing the traditional soloist role, the piano instead acts as a linchpin, around which thirteen short movements revolve. Throughout the work, a constant tension between forward and backward reveals an ultimate yearning for stillness in the present.

Read NMC's interview with Michael ahead of the album release here.

Stream the first single now and pre-order the album here.

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