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Includes a reconstruction of Dowland, electric bassoon and hypnotic minimalism: 8 tracks from UK composers Harrison Birtwistle, Judith Weir, Richard Barrett, Anna Meredith and others. (Full track details below)
BBC SO/Martyn Brabbins
Taken from NMC D137 The Welcome Arrival of Rain
The first ever disc of Judith Weir's major orchestral works, performed by the BBC Symphony Orchestra under Martyn Brabbins, includes title work The Welcome Arrival of Rain, inspired by the annual Indian monsoon.
'The music here displays an undiminished, sharp musical intelligence with an enviable flair for orchestration, dramatic momentum and melodic invention.' The Wire
Taken from NMC D114 A Glimpse of Sion's Glory
Exciting new vocal ensemble EXAUDI's second recording for NMC features choral works by Christopher Fox with the common theme of Puritanism, Liberty and dissent. Open the Gate, with its basis of plainsong, complete the disc.
Taken from NMC D009 Melencolia I - Ritual Fragment
The works display Birtwistle's distinctive and forceful voice and range in mood from austere introspective journeying to moments of unbearable intensity.
Roderick Williams/Iain Burnside
Taken from NMC D155 Songs Before Sleep
Bennett's most accessible and lyrical piece.
'Roderick Williams infuses Songs Before Sleep with just the right dark warmth' BBC Music Magazine
John Orford bassoon/Sound Intermedia electronics (London Sinfonietta)
Taken from NMC DL3012 Axeman
Anna Meredith says: 'We decided the way forward was to unleash the bassoon from its rock closet and try and write a piece that made the bassoon sound as much like an 1980s guitar-god as possible.'
Taken from NMC D176 Spine
Filled with sounds of cracking, slapping, whipping and scraping, it is music that is utterly contemporary, inhabiting the same urban landscape as industrial techno and electronica. make black white is a reconstruction of Dowland’s Flow, My Tears performed by viol consort Concordia.
'Tansy Davies’ music, held together in an awkward, gritty tension that allows for both emotional depth & unrestrained exuberance.' 5:4
BBC SO/Mark Wigglesworth
Taken from NMC D005 Lento
Lento is music of extraordinary directness and simplicity. It is an enigmatic and hypnotic work within which shifting modal chords progress through the orchestra to create a chorale-like, almost architectural form beneath a calm melodic surface.
'Lento, by the British miniaturist Howard Skempton, must surely be heading for cult status… it is captivating in its simple wistfulness.' BBC Music Magazine
Taken from NMC D183 Dark Matter
‘This is one of the most dazzling displays of contemporary music ever recorded…It practically defies belief to hear Barrett’s music-or indeed, any music-played with such unshakeable conviction and commitment. A masterpiece’ 5:4 blog