New Zealand SO/Hamish McKeich. Recorded by RNZ Concert, 20 February 2015.
Auckland-born composer John Rimmer studied composition with Ronald Tremain at the University of Auckland, and went on to study electronic music, analysis and composition at the University of Toronto. His compositions use a wide variety of musical forces: instrumental, orchestral and choral. About a quarter of his works employ electroacoustic resources and many works are published and recorded. He is the founder of the Karlheinz Company, an ensemble for new music at the University of Auckland, and played horn with them for many years.
Composer John Rimmer writes, ‘Transcend celebrates the high technical and musical ability of the individual members of the modern symphony orchestra. Elements of the traditional ‘concertante’ style can be heard in the solo and ensemble parts of the work, with cadenza-like passages added for good measure. The work is in one continuous movement, with slow and fast sections alternating and contrasting each other. Melodies are sifted from the contrapuntal textures and are transformed, fragmented and developed as mosaical patterns. The title Transcend refers not only to the idea of musicians playing beyond their normal expectation, but also to the nature of human artistic and spiritual experience. As a powerful art form, music can lift us out of the mundane into a rich artistic and spiritual realm. Art and spirituality thus become transcendent when they take us beyond our normal experience.’