The composer traces musical connections to the natural drama of volcanic eruptions in Mexico, the industrial landscape of Detroit and the genesis of the civil rights movement in Alabama. The opening three-movement violin concerto, Fire and Blood, wastes no time acquainting us with what has been firing Daugherty’s musical imagination. The work channels all the energy the composer and the players can marshal directly into our ears. Kavafian works like a Trojan, and was probably thankful to have the rest of this “live” CD off to be able to recover his strength.
The MotorCity Triptych is a loud and violent depiction of industrial Detroit. A listener looking for time to reflect and savour the music has come to the wrong composer. By the time we come to the third work, and Raise the Roof begins, eyes may well have been turned upwards to see if the roof was anywhere in sight after the music that had been pounding away for the best part of the previous hour.
The music belongs to the mid-20th century at its noisiest and most relentless, and you may like to have a CD of recovery music handy to wind down with afterwards. Heavy metal might do the trick.