Album review: Henning Kraggerud, Munch Suite (Simax)


Comprising 15 composers' solo violin interpretations of paintings by Edvard Munch, Henning Kraggerud's Munch Suite is tough going: it may not include The Scream, but these images – included as cards – are no less cris de coeur, and treated accordingly. Recurring motifs – groups of white-clad women watched by darker men; shorelines; obvious unrequited sexual tension – receive differing treatments: in Aaron Jay Kernis's "A Dance of Life", gossamer threads become more agitated and turbulent; in Peter Seabourne's "Meeting", tentative pizzicato and yearning bowed phrases evoke the distance between male and female figures. The landscapes are more open to unreserved beauty, notably in Alissa Firsova's gorgeous "Moonlight over the Sea".

Download: Moonlight over the Sea; Meeting; A Dance of Life