The evening opened with Cerdenia’s "Feuertrunken" ("Fire-Drunk") which received its world premiere three years ago. Initially, inspired by a nod to Dante’s take on purgatory and wall of fire leading to paradise, he decided to head toward a portion of Friedrich Schiller’s poem, "Ode to Joy," which shapes the fourth movement of Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 — "wir betreten feuertrunken" which, very loosely translated means, "we enter fire drunk your holy sanctuary."
Despite that direction, "Fire-Drunk" seemed to rest more with Dante. The work is filled with urgency, intensity, energy, excitement and a flurry of sounds both soft and otherwise, percussive and brass pronouncements, and endless rhythms. With a slight nod to Mahler’s First in the opening few notes, it’s a piece of enormous power that moves from one emotional platform to the next, interspersed with moments of tranquility before powering on. Waves of sound. It was stimulating and vibrant — a treat to hear.
John Shulson, The Virginia Gazette