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Boomkat Product Review:
Deutsche Grammophon handles this posthumous world premiere recording of the late Icelandic composer's triumphant 'A Prayer to the Dynamo', bundling it with suites compiled from his acclaimed scores for 'Sicario' and 'The Theory of Everything'.
Jóhannsson's fascination with technology is one of his compositional hallmarks. He memorialized an obselete computer system on 'IBM 1401, A User's Manual', and with 'A Prayer to the Dynamo', he wrote the piece after being inspired by field recordings he captured at Iceland's Elliðaár power plant. These sounds are woven into the fabric of the four-part piece, played with requisite skill by the Icelandic Symphony Orchestra, under the direction of Daníel Bjarnason. It's hard to know exactly how Jóhannsson might have treated the material, but this recording shines some light on the composition, and it's filled with Jóhannsson's expected melancholy flourishes.
To bump up the release, it's bundled with selected cues from 'Sicario' and 'The Theory of Everything', also rendered by the Icelandic Symphony Orchestra.