Category: CD Review

Boris Pigovat: Holocaust Requiem

Knowing little about his style, it was with a little trepidation that I listened to Boris Pigovat’s Holocaust Requiem (just released on Naxos), a title that evokes much historical and musical baggage. Perhaps sensing the difficulty in responding to events as horrific as those of the Holocaust Pigovat chooses, instead, to write for solo viola and orchestra, basing the movement titles…

Stefan Wolpe: Music for Violin and Piano

Though back in Pembrokeshire after three months at the Paul Sacher Sitting in Basel, a recent CD release brought to mind an uncomfortable event that occurred whilst I was there.  I am constantly reminded how little I know when I am at the PSS, a healthy facet of being in an environment surrounded by experts in different fields of musicology.…

Judith Weir: Storm

Storm is Signum Classics’ new disc of Judith Weir vocal music performed by the BBC Singers under David Hill. It consists of All the Ends of the Earth, for chorus, percussion and harp; her set of evening canticles, written in 2011 for St. John’s College, Cambridge; Missa del Cid; The Song Sung True; and Storm. Weir’s ability to render the familiar new is often remarked, especially in her…

Beyond the River God

Harpsichord Music by Graham Lynch and François Couperin. Assi Karttunen (harpsichord). Divine Art dda25120. Alex Ross describes Graham Lynch’s style as puzzling ‘over the classic distinction between ‘tonal’ and ‘atonal’, writing in praise of the neither-here-nor-there.’ It’s a pretty good analysis, though in the context of the works on this disk it, perhaps, underplays the extent to which the music…

Adriana Hölszky: Works for Organ

Adriana Hölszky: Wie ein gläsernes Meer, mit Feuer gemischt. Works for Organ. Wergo WER 67892. There are some fine recent disks on the German label Wergo. If you are not familiar with their work I urge you to have a rummage around their website, especially as many of their recordings are available on Spotify. Adriana Hölszky’s disk Wie in gläsernes Meer, mit Feuer gemischt,…

CD of the Month: Guto Puw Reservoirs

‘There are places in Wales I don’t go:Reservoirs that are the subconsciousOf a people, troubled far downWith gravestones, chapels, villages even…’ Guto Puw is in many respects the quintessential Welsh composer: he grew up in a musical family steeped in national folk forms and traditions, he is a native speaker who now teaches at Bangor – the only university where…

Penderecki Works and April CD Roundup

Penderecki Works: Polymorphia, Analasis, Fluorescenes, Threnody to the Victims of Hiroshima, Intermezzo, Kosmogonia (Antoni Wit) Naxos NAC-LP002-03 Written in 1959/60, Anaklasis, for 42 string instruments and percussion was the work that established Penderecki’s radical credentials with its extensive use of sounds that emphasise sonorous effect as opposed to pitch-based harmonic and melodic argument. It was swiftly followed by 8’37’’, for 52 string instruments,…

A Voice Gone Silent Too Soon: the music of Gerhard Schedl

The Boston-based Walden Chamber Players have just released a tribute to Austrian composer Gerhard Schedl. It’s title, A Voice Gone Too Soon, is a reference to his tragic death aged 43: he shot himself in woods near his house in Eppstein after suffering a long period of depression.  The knowledge of Schedl’s end makes experiencing his haunting music all the more poignant. It often…

September CD Roundup – Métier

I often write about Naxos and, more obviously (it’s dedicated to contemporary music, after all), NMC in these roundups. Métier, now absorbed by Divine Art Recordings Group, is another label that is a treasure trove for new music lovers. Their most recent contemporary music releases are: Michael Finnissy’s Unknown Ground, James Weeks’ TIDE and Carson Cooman’s Rising at Dawn. I have listened to the first…