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Bridging the day

Works for cello and piano
by Sally Beamish -
explored by DAVID THOMPSON

'Robert Irvine gives a consummate performance, technically amazing, and emotionally involving ...'

Sally Beamish: Bridging the Day. Works for cello and piano (p) 2001 BIS Records AB


This is a rewarding disc on at least two counts. On the one hand, it provides the listener with an overview of a significant recent voice in contemporary music, for the works represented here range from Beamish's student days through to the year 2000, the 'present day' of the recording sessions. Of equal importance, it provides a showcase for Robert Irvine, who, on the evidence here, is an outstanding cellist; so good, in fact, that we are moved to beg to hear more of him, as we surely will, if there is any justice in the world of music.

Most fortuitously, Irvine and Beamish happen to be husband and wife, and she, having trained and performed to a professional level on viola, has a manifestly intimate understanding of string technique and how it may be musically exploited to the very edges of possibility. In this, Irvine is her ideally close collaborator, with a unique understanding of her wishes, and the ability to realise them in full.

Sally Beamish's musical inspiration is very 'hands-on on life', and she exploits personal emotions and the world of nature with a directness and simplicity of observation with which the attentive listener can immediately and fully empathise. Her music is unmistakably contemporary, but it is not 'difficult' in that it communicates readily and directly.

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Copyright © 13 March 2002 David Thompson, Eastwood, Essex, UK







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