Aureole etc.




Nimbus on-line




If it’s the Czech works you’re after, do not hesitate

  Founder: Len Mullenger
Classical Editor: Rob Barnett


Some items
to consider

 


Enjoy the Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra wherever you are. App available for iOS and Android

Lyrita 4CDs £16 incl.postage

Lyrita 4CDs £16 incl.postage


Decca Phase 4 - 40CDs


Judith Bailey, George Lloyd


BAX Orchestral pieces


CASKEN Violin Concerto

Schumann Symphonies Rattle


Complete Brahms
Bargain price

 


 REVIEW
 RECORDING OF THE MONTH



Gerard Hoffnung CDs

Advertising on
Musicweb


Donate and get a free CD

New Releases

Naxos Classical

Hyperion

Musicweb sells the following labels
Acte Préalable
Alto
Arcodiva
Atoll
CDAccord
Cameo Classics
Centaur
Hallé
Hortus
Lyrita
Nimbus
Northern Flowers
Redcliffe
Sheva
Talent
Toccata Classics


Follow us on Twitter

Subscribe to our free weekly review listing
sample
 

alternatively
CD: AmazonUK
Download: Classicsonline


Scotland At Night
Choral settings of Scottish poetry from Robert Burns to Alexander McCall Smith
Traditional (arr. John Powell)
Dream Angus
Tom CUNNINGHAM (b.1946)
Scotland at Night
Arvo PÄRT (b.1935)
My Heart’s in the Highlands
James MACMILLAN (b.1959)
So Deep, The Gallant Weaver
Howard SKEMPTON (b.1947)
Address to Edinburgh
Tom CUNNINGHAM (b.1946)
The Painter’s Eye
Ronald STEVENSON (b.1928)
A mediaeval Scottish Triptych
Traditional (arr. Mike Brewer)
Ye Banks and Braes
John HEARNE (b.1937)
The Seagull
Beth Mackay (mezzo) Michael Bradley (baritone) Lisa Swane (soprano)
Thomas Laing-Reilly (organ)
Laudibus/Mike Brewer
rec. 3-5 January 2009, Colinton Parish Church
premiere recordings except Pärt, MacMillan, Hearne
DELPHIAN DCD34060 [64:17] 
Experience Classicsonline


What a joy! Bravo Delphian! This is a superbly sung and recorded disc of ravishing music, ranging from the granitic mediaeval triptych of Ronald Stevenson to the honeyed close harmonies of Tom Cunningham’s two cycles - ‘Scotland at Night’ and ‘The Painter’s Eye’. It’s an entertainment that succeeds in presenting something of Scotland without a trace of the ubiquitous tartan.

The music is sung by the choir ‘Laudibus’, one of the best choirs I have heard in years. The felicities of the performance faithfully and expertly reproduced on this disc. What we have across approaching 65 minutes is a collaboration between composers, choir and director and the writer/poet Alexander McCall Smith. The twin themes of Scotland and night are expressed in the delightfully idiosyncratic verses of the poet McCall Smith as well as the more familiar Burns. ‘Serendipities’ - the description is that of the writer of the perceptive liner-notes. Serendipities abound in such delightful inventions as a ‘village hall dance set to the music of a reel’. Raeburn’s minister glides abstractedly to the strains of ‘Les Patineurs’. Also glimpsed are: ‘the sudden sunburst of a Shetland summer’ and the wriggle of trout tails in a highland tarn’ - all poetic images captured in music that is immediately appealing. The two sequences by McCall Smith and the Edinburgh composer Tom Cunningham were the inspirational impetus for the collection.

Apart from the strangely effective setting of ‘My Heart’s in the Highlands’ for counter-tenor by Arvo Pärt, recalling the tracker sounds of an ancient country organ, the further choice falls upon two of Scotland’s foremost composers - Stevenson and MacMillan. Stevenson’s powerful triptych is a compelling setting of the oldest known poetry in Scotland. ‘Qwhan Alexander our kynge was Dede’ and the paean ‘Fredome’ - the very word is “ thundered like bells first tolling then pealing” (The description is that of James Reid Baxter in his essay on Stevenson’s choral music in ‘Ronald Stevenson - a Symposium’ edited by Colin Scott-Sutherland (Toccata Press 2005)) - frame the central lament and its agonised and impassioned cries of ‘Allace’. 

MacMillan also laments in a setting of ‘My love is like a red red rose’ (under the title ‘So Deep’) with its spectral and misty unresolved harmony. His setting of ‘The Gallant Weaver’ is a small masterpiece of choral writing - a quasi-psalm tune of his own devising threaded (‘woven’?) through a complex tapestry of sound recalling the precentor and congregation of the Highland church.

The magical opening of the disc - a setting by John Powell of ‘Dream Angus’ and the concluding mirage of the crying gulls - a masterly touch of the actual gulls’ cries and the lapping of water - encompass aspects of Scotland epitomised in the nostalgia that is its characteristic voice.

Colin Scott-Sutherland

see also review by John Quinn

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 


EXPLORE MUSICWEB INTERNATIONAL

Making a Donation to MusicWeb

Writing CD reviews for MWI

About MWI
Who we are, where we have come from and how we do it.

Site Map

How to find a review

How to find articles on MusicWeb
Listed in date order

Review Indexes
   By Label
      Select a label and all reviews are listed in Catalogue order
   By Masterwork
            Links from composer names (eg Sibelius) are to resource pages with links to the review indexes for the individual works as well as other resources.

Themed Review pages

Jazz reviews

 

Discographies
   Composer
      Composer surveys
   National
      Unique to MusicWeb -
a comprehensive listing of all LP and CD recordings of given works
.
Prepared by Michael Herman

The Collector’s Guide to Gramophone Company Record Labels 1898 - 1925
Howard Friedman

Book Reviews

Complete Books
We have a number of out of print complete books on-line

Interviews
With Composers, Conductors, Singers, Instumentalists and others
Includes those on the Seen and Heard site

Nostalgia

Nostalgia CD reviews

Records Of The Year
Each reviewer is given the opportunity to select the best of the releases

Monthly Best Buys
Recordings of the Month and Bargains of the Month

Comment
Arthur Butterworth Writes

An occasional column

Phil Scowcroft's Garlands
British Light Music articles

Classical blogs
A listing of Classical Music Blogs external to MusicWeb International

Reviewers Logs
What they have been listening to for pleasure

Announcements

 

Community
Bulletin Board

Give your opinions or seek answers

Reviewers
Pat and present

Helpers invited!

Resources
How Did I Miss That?

Currently suspended but there are a lot there with sound clips


Composer Resources

British Composers

British Light Music Composers

Other composers

Film Music (Archive)
Film Music on the Web (Closed in December 2006)

Programme Notes
For concert organizers

External sites
British Music Society
The BBC Proms
Orchestra Sites
Recording Companies & Retailers
Online Music
Agents & Marketing
Publishers
Other links
Newsgroups
Web News sites etc

PotPourri
A pot-pourri of articles

MW Listening Room
MW Office

Advice to Windows Vista users  
Questionnaire    
Site History  
What they say about us
What we say about us!
Where to get help on the Internet
CD orders By Special Request
Graphics archive
Currency Converter
Dictionary
Magazines
Newsfeed  
Web Ring
Translation Service

Rules for potential reviewers :-)
Do Not Go Here!
April Fools




Return to Review Index

Untitled Document


Reviews from previous months
Join the mailing list and receive a hyperlinked weekly update on the discs reviewed. details
We welcome feedback on our reviews. Please use the Bulletin Board
Please paste in the first line of your comments the URL of the review to which you refer.