I've never made a secret of the fact that I just love Iwan's writing and this new piece is no exception. I'm one of his biggest fans. I especially like the way Iwan contrasts the full orchestra with selected solo instruments in this one. Even the realization is very nice for a first (!) GPO composition. But the mix takes a back seat to the music here. This is probably challenging, ear-stretching stuff for some listeners but oh, so inherently musical to my ears. There is nothing "coldly academic" about this music. It's rich and flowing and just happens not to be tonal. Definitely my cup of tea. I want to hear more. I would also love to hear this piece performed by a real orchestra.
As long as you are at Iwan's site also listen to some of his other work including Diadem. When he composed Diadem he was kind enough to send my a copy of the score - fascinating reading. I should also mention that he is one superb saxophonist.
The Concerto for flute and orchestra is marvelous. Any fan of modern music will appreciate what you've done. This concerto really shows Iwan's tremendous skills as an orchestrator. I especially liked the juxtoposition between larger orchestral elements against solo instruments.
Here's a brief bio of Iwan posted here a short while ago:
Originally Posted by Garritan
Professor Iwan Roth studied music at the renown \"Higher National Academy of Music of Paris\" and studied saxophone under legendary saxophonist Master Marcel Mule (1901-2001 founder of the modern school of the traditional saxophone). While at the Academy, Iwan attend classes taught by Darius Milhaud and Olivier Messiaen which influenced in his musical development.
Iwan Roth has a distinguished career traveling the world as a concert performer and has played with many orchestras including: the Berlin Philharmonic, the Vienna Philharmonic, the Philharmonic orchestras of Munich and Stuttgart, the orchestra of Scala of Milan, and the Zurich Orchestra. He has played under under the direction of Leonard Bernstein, Zubin Meta, Pierre Swell, Luciano Berio, Igor Markevitch, Colin Davis, Riccardo Muti, Sergiu Celibidache, and other Maestros and he has performed in the best concert halls ithroughout Europe, in the USA and Asia.
Iwan Roth has recorded 14 albums, has performed in many television productions, and has authored publications including \'Method for Saxophone Volumes I & II (over 30,000 sold). Iwan Roth has collaborated with Charless Aznavour, Sammy Davis, Mireille Matthieu, Johnny Hallyday, Sylvie Vartan, and Lionel Hampton Iwan Roth currently lives in the south of France where he teaches and produce smusic.
Iwan is the founder of the higher class of saxophone at the Academy of Music of Basle, which under his direction has acquired an international reputation. Between 1984 and 1992, Iwan Roth also taught with the Academy of Utrecht in Holland. In the USA Iwan Roth taught in Northwestern University - Chicago, Indiana University - Bloomington, and North Texas State University etc. He also has taught many master classes in Paris, Bordeaux, Sion, Switzerland/Nüremberg, Germany/Noto, Italy, France/Taragona, Spain/Amsterdam, Holland/Boston, the USA and Japan. He has also served on the panel of judges for international competitions.
I like this a lot. This has become one of my very favorite GPO pieces. I'd like to hear a real orchestra play it, though I almost feel I have - a couple of quick runs weren't totally convincing but most of it was very realistically realized.