<< -- 2 -- Shirley Ratcliffe JOURNEYING INTO SPACE
Two of the pieces were commissioned by The Ionian Singers: Cashian's
slow building, atmospheric Music for an empty sky and Jackson's
Lux mortuorum which, in spite of some lush sounding chords conveys,
along with the Cashian a feeling of the heavens -- a journey into space.
Written in 1990, Casken's deep and complex The land of spices,
set to George Herbert's poem Prayer is very testing for this
amateur group but a good performance is given of what is described as an
'expression of prayer'. Salter's four settings of poems by
Gerard Manley Hopkins are well contrasted and descriptive conveying 'the
poet's excited response to the natural world...' Stephen Oliver's
interesting motet O fons amoris divides into three continuous parts
showing by stages ecstatic writing, a feeling of neo-classicism and a fervent
climax. Both Matthews' and Skempton's short pieces are pleasant
enough light-weight works, but for me the three most absorbing pieces on
the disc are by Simon Bainbridge, Douglas Young and Elizabeth Lutyens.
Bainbridge uses an autumnal text by Rilke for Herbsttag. Set for
two antiphonal choirs, it is slow moving, sustained and of sombre mood.
This is a very difficult piece to pull-off over its 8 minutes and 45 seconds.
The singers manage admirably. The gradual build-up of sound and texture
produces some interesting sonorities [listen --
track 7, 0:01-1:04].
Copyright © 1 September 2001
Shirley Ratcliffe, Norfolk, UK
CD INFORMATION - USK 1224CD
PURCHASE THIS DISC FROM CROTCHET
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