- 01. Lyra I Allegro molto 7'07"
- 02. Lyra II Adagio e lontano9'11"
- 03. Lyra III Vivo con anima 6'29"
- 04. Five Memos I Lightness2'23"
- 05. Five Memos II Quickness3'01"
- 06. Five Memos III Exactitude4'35"
- 07. Five Memos IV Visibility2'51"
- 08. Five Memos V Multiplicity3'45"
- 09. Heartland I Allegro con brio9'13"
- 10. Heartland II Andante e oscuro8'33"
- 11. Heartland III Allegretto ritmico4'47"
- 12. Sudden Light16'52"
Mark Bowden's passion for orchestral writing and exploring its enormous timbral range is evident on his debut album of works written over the last decade.
The intoxicating Lyra (2011) for cello and orchestra was described 'as a richly allusive work of considerable scope and ambition' by Seen and Heard International and was Bowden's first commission, as resident composer, for BBC National Orchestra of Wales (BBC NOW). The solo cello part calls for a blistering technique and was written for Oliver Coates, who performs on this recording. The work's title and inspiration has multiple references: a constellation of stars, a bass viol from the seventeenth century, a class of Russian nuclear-powered submarines and the lead character in Philip Pullman's fantasy trilogy His Dark Materials.
Heartland (2012), also commissioned by BBC NOW, was created as both a standalone percussion concerto and a ballet score for the National Dance Company Wales. The Times review of its World Premiere said that the work 'bubbles with fluid, spicy rhythms and pretty celestial ruminations ... watching Julian Warburton play it was a fascinating show in itself’.
Sudden Light (2005) was inspired by Marcus du Sautoy’s book The Music of the Primes and explores the play of consonance and dissonance through the overtones of the harmonic series.
As a contrast to the orchestral works on this album, Five Memos (2015) is a light, airy interplay between violin and piano, performed beautifully by Hyeyoon Park (violin) and Huw Watkins (piano).
Produced in association with the BBC National Orchestra of Wales.
'Excellent performances by all involved on the disc do contemporary Mark Bowden proud' BBC Music Magazine ★★★★☆
"Mark [is] a composer who is a very deft orchestrator..he makes the most of everything Olly Coates can do" BBC Radio 3 Hear and Now
'... the solo percussion writing in Heartland shows how subtle and inventive Bowden's textural imagination can be' The Guardian ★★★★
'Mark Bowden combines fascinating orchestral writing with underlying emotional structures ... highly recommended' Planet Hugill
'Mark Bowden ...[a] compelling young voice ... with an inquisitve mind for science references' Gramophone (Kate Molleson)
With special thanks to Colwinston Charitable Trust, Royal Holloway University of London and RVW Trust for their support of this recording.
Thank you to the trusts, foundations and individuals who have already invested in NMC's Debut Discs series:
The Astor Foundation
The Boltini Trust
The John S Cohen Foundation
Colwinston Charitable Trust
The Fenton Arts Trust
Nicholas and Judith Goodison
Mercers' Charitable Foundation
Stanley Picker Trust
The Radcliffe Trust
Richard Thomas Foundation
Jennifer Roslyn Wingate
The individuals who donated through The Big Give Christmas Challenge December 2011
Sudden Light, Lyra and Heartland recorded on 21-23 December 2015 at BBC Hoddinott Hall, Cardiff Wales.
Recording Producer & Engineer: Tim Thorne
Five Memos recorded on 19 April 2016 at All Saints Tooting, London.
Recording Producer & Engineer: David Lefeber
Digital Editing: Susanne Stanzeleit
Mastering: David Lefeber