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Luxembourg Sinfonietta International Composition Prize 2002
World Premiere Recordings

Carsten Hennig Ausflug nach Sing-Sing (11’48’’)
Stéphane Altier Treize Fragments de la Danse (09’42’’)
Nicholas Sackman Ballo (15’07’’)
Thoma Simaku Luxonorité (13’07’’)
Ittetsu Shimizu Suspiria de Profundis (09’27’’)
Carlos Satué Mizar-Alcor (11’54’’)

Luxembourg Sinfonietta
Conductor : Marcel Wengler

LGNM 402 [71 mins]

The rich musical life of one of the smallest European countries came to our notice by attending the ISCM Music Days in 2000.

Marcel Wengler, a prime mover in Luxembourg's musical life, established that year a thriving and successful annual international composer competition. The CD of the inaugural prizewinners concert in 2000 has been reviewed previously. The fruits of the 2002 competition are here made available, recorded live at the Luxembourg Sinfonietta's public concert 20 April 2002. With 137 entries from 33 countries, the six finalists selected for offered high standards and variety.

The competition's uniqueness derives from the unusual composition of the Luxembourg Sinfonietta, with saxophones, accordion and mandoline as regular members in addition to more usual chamber orchestral line-up, providing a fresh challenge to imagination and orchestration skills. The German composer Carsten Hennig's piece is in an attractive modernist idiom, featuring the mandoline and accordion, and Stephen Altier, 33 yr old Frenchman now studying in London has had his Sable for 12 players given at the Royal Festival Hall. Nicholas Sackman, 52, based at Nottingham University, is of the generation too easily overlooked. He has CDs by Metier & NMC. His 15 mins Ballo, hard edged, wind dominated (especially trumpet), is well conceived and achieved, even if not strikingly original; a good item in the programme. Most original was the shortest of the pieces, Suspiria de Profundis by Ittetsu Shimizu, and this took the first prize.

These CDs, and those of Luxembourg's own composers, provide a different perspective and are well worth exploring. Details and purchase from the Luxembourg Society for Contemporary Music.


© Peter Grahame Woolf