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Classical Music Review

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Triptych Revelation


Composer: Sergio Cervetti
Conductor: Petr Vronsky
Performed by: Moravian Philharmonic Orchestra
Label: Navona Records
RRP: £13.99
Release Date: 09 June 2017

Triptych Revelation is composer Sergio Cervetti’s seventh album with Navona. The 8 tracks represent 3 works and has a running time of 1 hr, 06 min, 52 sec and represents works from across four decades of his career. All three works feature very different explorations of apocalyptic themes, inspired by the New Testament, nineteenth century French literature, and Flemish art of the sixteenth century.

Inspired by portentous images from the Book of Revelation, 'Concerto for Trumpet, Strings, and Timpani' (1973) pays specific homage to the passage, “And the seventh angel sounded the trumpet” (XI:15). It acts as a trumpet aria, with three sections that unfold in a faceted continuum. Opening with a foreboding and menacing trumpet solo, the piece launches into full swing with tumultuous interplay between the brass and timpani.

Written in memory of the composer’s sister, Piano Quintet 'Toward the Abyss' (2015) takes inspiration from Charles Baudelaire’s poem 'Le Voyage' and contemplates mortality and the voyage toward the afterlife.

Finally, 'The Hay Wain' (1987), an electroacoustic tone poem, was inspired by the medieval triptych of the same name by painter Hieronymus Bosch. In bringing this work to life, Cervetti draws inspiration for four movements from the painting, evoking imagery such as angels as insects falling to earth like confetti; a wagon laden with hay drawn by semi-human, semi-animal monsters; a tower of human pride constructed by sinners; and lovers sitting and playing the lute in bliss, oblivious of the abyss towards which they are being driven.

It's a bleak, melancholic collection which paradoxically touches the soul and lifts the spirits. These are three very different works, but all work incredibly well together. A superb album that's worthy of your time.


Darren Rea

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