Crush of the Titans

It’s not a ‘clash’, but more of a ‘crush’ of the titans, because these four compositions for symphony orchestra and jazz orchestra give the two orchestras the opportunity to get introduced and start flirting shamelessly. Composer Lode Mertens has created a musical masterpiece in the title song Crush of the Titans. Pierre Drevet, the BJO’s other talented in-house composer, pays a tribute to jazz icon Kenny Wheeler, whose gorgeous melodies and subtle chord progressions inspired Drevet to write For Kenny. Then of course, there’s Bert Joris, who has composed and arranged so much material for the Brussels Jazz Orchestra, always managing to use the orchestra to its full potential. He’ll do the same again this time for double orchestra, with two compositions, Somewhere up There and the intriguing Invasion of the Ants.

Composer Lode Mertens says about the title song ‘Crush of the Titans’, ‘I started with the myth about Perseus, “The Clash of the Titans”. The BJO and a symphony orchestra are both top artists, but each has their own idiom. Each ensemble has its own completely different sound ideal, timing, phrasing, etc., which makes them seem incompatible as artistic partners. The longer I worked on the piece, though, the more connections I discovered. I’ve tried to blend the two into one large whole by letting each orchestra speak its own language. My image of the two battling titans changed into one of two titans who fall in love with each other, a crush instead of a clash.’

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symphonic orchestra, Brussels Jazz Orchestra