ALL-MUSIC GUIDE - REVIEW In the tradition of such visionary pieces as R. Strauss's "Tod und Verklärung" (Death and Transfiguration), H. Berlioz's "Symphonie Fantastique," Toshiro Mayazumi's "Mandala Symphony," etc., the program of this four-movement work is transcendent and epic in scope, depicting "a metaphorical journey from youth through death, and beyond." In the first movement, "Prerequiem," youthfulness is depicted not with the usual cliché of footloose and fancy free joy, but is shown as a struggle to create and maintain some independent existence in a relatively hostile world. A main theme, built of modal and chromatic steps, perfectly describes this unsettled, restless soul (unusually orchestrated with strings in unison with a melodic (!) tympani line). The melody goes through many variations (psychological modes perhaps), sometimes collapsing into chaos and despair. Eventually a matured tone is attained in a Maestoso section. The initial energy is still heard in recapitulations of the main theme with underlying rushing figures, but that is shaded with the timbres of funereal bells, and the violins and violas played with guitar picks, a sound depicting the mastering of opposing forces. The first movement then slips into its last few minutes as a richly orchestrated elegy including deep bells, church chimes and low horns reminiscent of Russian Orthodox chant or Buddhist ceremony. The second movement begins with a slow, steady melody that alternately evokes despairing, dissonant lines surrounding it, or moves into the rich harmonies of an enlightened understanding achieved toward life's conclusion. The movement concludes with gentle chimes and strings. The third movement, "Passage," begins with a phantasmagoria of chromatically whirling strings and winds, punctuated with percussion, with laughing slides from the brass. This gradually works itself into a flowing landscape of heavenly and hallucinatory imagery, an amazingly original sound. The music settles into a profound and universal peacefulness. The fourth movement suggests a passageway into a new dimension, equally heaven's periphery, the Egyptian (or Greek, etc.) underworld, or another non-earthly transcendent state. The original theme is heard accompanied by quiet drones and gentle undulations, and a flowing, profound and serious peacefulness reigns. The soul however still seems to be pushed on toward ascension to further realms with occasional rushing modulations, by heavenly visions announced by widely spaced bell sounds, and by choral voices urging the soul ever upward. Gamelan-like pulses are heard, and suddenly the Lachrymosa from Mozart's Requiem is quoted. It's chromatic undulations are then sequenced continuously into a massive extension both historical (hints of Mahler, Ives, Ligeti and further 20th-century moderns) and cosmological in its poetry. Then the music just ceases, eternally silent. A truly original and artistically sensitive work. -- "Blue" Gene Tyranny // Carson Kievman's Symphony No. 2(42) was commissioned by the Florida Philharmonic Orchestra, James Judd, conductor, in honor of the 200th anniversary fo the dealth of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.