Shin’s Upon His Ghostly Solitude is a “Powerful” and “Enormously Colorful Piece”
Critics praise Donghoon Shin’s Upon His Ghostly Solitude, premiered earlier this month by the LA Phil and Osmo Vänskä, for its epic scope, bold gestures, and dynamic range of colors.
Donghoon Shin’s new orchestral work Upon His Ghostly Solitude—inspired by WB Yeat’s poem “Nineteen Hundred and Nineteen”—premiered on April 7-8 with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, conducted by longtime champion Osmo Vänskä. Critics have marveled at the epic scope of Shin’s “orchestral showpiece” (Bachtrack), which features a large ensemble of triple winds, strings, harp, celesta, piano, and an array of percussion instruments. Musical America states: “Shin took advantage of the full orchestra, with Vänskä firmly in control of all that sound. It was powerful stuff, worth hearing again.”
In this work, Shin drew connections between Yeat’s poem about war and the cyclical nature of history to Berg and Mahler’s music, which have long been major influences for Shin. Bachtrack commented on the Romantic, Expressionist references in the score: “Its Straussian contexts were painted with broad brush strokes and glowing colors … with superb Mahlerian gestures”
Critics also remarked on Shin’s remarkable grasp of orchestral colors. San Francisco Classical Voice described the “shimmering tones in the orchestra” and “ghostly harmonics in the strings” that “[grow] to a mournful richness.”
Upon His Ghostly Solitude will receive its European premiere next on May 5-6 with the Bamberger Symphony, conducted by Osmo Vänskä, followed by its Asian premiere on December 21-22 with the Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra, conducted by Jaap van Zweden.
“Walloping, percussion-heavy crescendos of Bergian expressionism”
“Shin took advantage of the full orchestra, with Vänskä firmly in control of all that sound. It was powerful stuff, worth hearing again.”
“an orchestral showpiece … superb Mahlerian gestures”
“Its Straussian contexts were painted with broad brush strokes and glowing colors strewn with feverish snatches of a march or waltz.”
San Francisco Classical Voice
“enormously colorful piece”
“shimmering tones in the orchestra … ghostly harmonics in the strings … grows to a mournful richness.”
> Further information on Work: Upon His Ghostly Solitude
Photo: Marco Loumiet