Daníel Bjarnason: Percussion Concerto
Gunnar Andreas: Kristinsson Flekar
Halldór Smárason: Infinite Image, premiere
The Iceland Symphony Orchestra’s Dark Music Days concert includes four recent works by three Icelandic composers, including the Icelandic premiere of a new percussion concerto by Daníel Bjarnason, who also conducts. Dubbed “a wizard of percussion” by a Viennese critic, Austrian percussionist Martin Grubinger has been at the forefront of the profession for two decades. He is a regular guest with leading orchestras such as the Berlin Philharmonic and the Vienna Philharmonic, and his best-selling recordings are issued by Deutsche Grammophon. Grubinger has commissioned a number of new works and recently premiered Daníel Bjarnason’s new percussion concerto, commission by the Gothenburg Symphony.
Gunnar Andreas Kristinsson’s Flekar juxtaposes “tonal masses that meet and overlap like tectonic plates, with the associated friction and accumulation of tension,” as the composer puts it. The work was premiered by the Ungfónia Youth Orchestra in 2019 but will now be heard for the first time in a revised version for full symphony orchestra.
Also on the programme are premieres by two young composers who have drawn considerable attention in recent years and have both participated in the Iceland Symphony’s Yrkja composers’ workshop, gaining valuable experience in writing for orchestra. Halldór Smárason’s Infinite Image, based on the poem Þoka (Fog) by Sigurður Pálsson, hovers at the boundaries between the visible and the invisible, the audible and the inaudible.
Further information on the concert can be found on the Iceland Symphony Orchestra website.