Göteborgs Symfoniker
Available until 15 September 2024

Hillborg: Sound Atlas

Anders Hillborg’s music is often both intricate and virtuosic with dazzlingly elegant orchestral treatment. This also applies to the Sound Atlas, which, although the boundaries are not exact, is divided into five sections: Crystalline, River of Glass, Vaporised Toy Pianos, Vortex and Hymn. The use of suggestive titles, and preferably with contradictory content, is recognizable from previous Hillborg works, Cold Heat, Liquid Marble. “I always try to find titles that refer to something in the music but also make you think,” he says. Sound Atlas conjures up images both of a geographical area, a landscape and exploration of sounds. “Glass harmonica and microtones in the strings both play important roles in the work, which contributes to the crystalline character that is at the center of the piece’s tonal world,” Hillborg comments.

After the introduction’s journey on the river of glass, toy pianos are presented. As they gradually evaporate, the crystalline character diminishes and the music is thrown into the Vortex – a soundscape of violent, turbulent, convulsive masses of sound. Out of the powerful vortex of sound, the music rises again for a brief, crystalline moment but soon plunges back into the abyss, finally transitioning into the high-pitched string hymn that ends the piece.

Anja Bihlmaier’s strong musical instinct, abundant charisma and natural leadership have propelled her to the forefront of newly established conductors, both on the symphonic and operatic stages. In 2021, she assumed the position of chief conductor of the Residentie Orkest in The Hague. Since the 2020-2021 season, Anja Bihlmaier is also the first guest conductor of the Lahti Symphony Orchestra.

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Hillborg Sound Atlas


Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra

Anja Bihlmaier conductor