Born in 1972, Albert Schnelzer has established himself as one of the most successful of contemporary Swedish composers. Taking inspiration from both dance and literature, he writes music that has been described as pulsating with feverish tension and vibrating rhythms, outgoing but with room for fragile and lyrically expressive moments. The three works gathered here were composed between 2011 and 2014, with two multi-movement works flanking the single-movement Tales from Suburbia. The work is inspired by the idea of suburbs embodying the transition between countryside and urbanity, where the organic world of nature contrasts with concrete structures and where past meets present. Framing Tales from Suburbia are two concertos, one for cello and one for orchestra, which both owe a debt to the rock band Pink Floyd’s iconic album Dark Side of the Moon. The work titles – Crazy Diamond and Brain Damage – are both borrowed from the album tracklist, and the individual movements carry titles taken from the lyrics. As Schnelzer himself explains in his liner notes, he hasn’t used any actual musical quotations but the lyrics have provided catalysts for his own music. In the cello concerto his focus has been on the fate of Syd Barrett, one of the founder members of Pink Floyd who was forced to leave the band due to deteriorating mental health. Brain Damage – Concerto for Orchestra on the other hand can be seen in terms of wandering through a series of different moods: anger, frustration, grief and perhaps even a glimpse of hope.
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