- 01. Chamber Concerto: I Con bravura1'02"
- 02. Chamber Concerto: II Tempo giusto1'23"
- 03. Chamber Concerto: III Grazioso1'47"
- 04. Chamber Concerto: IV Teneramente1'26"
- 05. Clarinet Quintet: I Andante3'00"
- 06. Clarinet Quintet: II Largo2'57"
- 07. Clarinet Quintet: III Commodo2'44"
- 08. The Voice of the Spirits7'30"
- 09. The Bridge of Fire7'04"
- 10. Suite from Delicate: Pulse8'44"
- 11. Suite from Delicate: Triangle I2'53"
- 12. Suite from Delicate: Easy0'41"
- 13. Suite from Delicate: Triangle II1'30"
- 14. Suite from Delicate: Solo3'30"
- 15. Suite from Delicate: Ending0'48"
- 16. Roundels of the Year7'15"
- 17. Rise Up, My Love: I Rise up, my love3'39"
- 18. Rise Up, My Love: II How fair is thy love1'47"
- 19. Rise Up, My Love: III My beloved is gone down1'14"
- 20. Rise Up, My Love: IV How fair and how pleasant1'54"
- 21. Ben Somewhen12'16"
Astoundingly, this is Howard Skempton’s first full-length disc for NMC - his CD single, the deceptively simple orchestral study Lento, was one of NMC's first releases in 1992 and has been one of our best-sellers ever since.
This collection contrasts Skempton's choral works - including the dancing setting of Shelley’s The Voice of the Spirits and spiritual Rise Up, My Love - with chamber music ranging from the Suite from Delicate, for 2 cellos and percussion, to the exuberant (yet very English), Chamber Concerto. The title piece, Ben Somewhen, was commissioned by BCMG's Sound Investment scheme for solo double bass and ensemble, and was inspired by Ben Hartley's drawings of rural life
"Skempton's music is deceptively simple, affording familiar musical materials a gentle, non-ironic regard. Satie may be a near comparison, but without his wackiness and weirdness. In recent years, Skempton's concentrated more on vocal and choral music, which gets haunting performances by Exaudi. A delightful disc." The Wire
"An enticing collection … Exaudi and BCMG are manifestly attuned to the idiom, and recorded with ideal clarity. Informative notes from James Weeks and the composer enhance a release that confirms Skempton's move to the centre of British new music as complete." Gramophone
"The simplicity of his music, and its tendency to brevity - there are eight works in this collection, the longest of them an 18-minute suite of ballet music - are all deceptive; what one gets within the smallest frame is something totally memorable, perfectly crafted and, in its way, unutterably strange... Each of these pieces, whether the four written for ensemble or those for chorus (settings of Shelley, Flecker, Drinkwater and the Song of Solomon), manages to do something exquisite and totally personal; how Skempton always does it with such economy is a wonder in itself." Guardian
Howard Skempton’s music is published by Oxford University Press.
The choral music on this disc was recorded at St Paul’s Church, Knightsbridge, London on 16-17 January 2007.
Engineer: ANDREW POST
Producer: AARON CASSIDY
The instrumental works were recorded at the CBSO Centre, Birmingham on 14-15 April 2007.
Engineer & Producer: DAVID LEFEBER
Mastering: DAVID LEFEBER
Executive Producer: COLIN MATTHEWS
Cover and booklet illustrations: BEN HARTLEY, © BERNARD SAMUELS
Design: FRANCOIS HALL
(P) 2007 NMC Recordings Ltd