Esa-Pekka Salonen’s Helix
Esa-Pekka Salonen, Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra
I am often reminded when listening to some of my adventurous music choices of the immortal lines from Benjamin Britten’s Albert Herring: “Crikey! What an awful noise!” and “Quite nicely sung, but rather modern, wasn’t it?” Which is to say that I approach anything written after 1976 with a due sense of dread and teeth-clenching. But… but… this isn’t that. It is undoubtedly modern and uncompromisingly so, but it’s a really pleasant listen, with much that is sonically interesting, thanks to an imaginitive and not-over-dense orchestration. I mean, I don’t think I’d put it on for Sunday tea and crumpets, but after a hard night’s drinking on the town, it could certainly hold it’s own!