Aureole etc.




Nimbus on-line




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

  Founder: Len Mullenger
Classical Editor: Rob Barnett


CD REVIEW

Some items
to consider

 


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


Mahler symphony 6 Nott


Vaughan Williams Symphony 3 etc.


Lyrita New Recording


Lyrita Premiere Recordings

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

 

 

 

 

Alternatively
Crotchet  AmazonUK   AmazonUS

 

Nigel CLARKE (b. 1960)
1. Pernambuco (1994) [7:00]
2. The Miraculous Violin (2000) [18:09]
3. Loulan (2002) [3:27]
4. Samurai (1995, rev 2007) [11:48]
5. Premonitions (1989) [5:41]
6. Black Fire (2006) [26:02]
Peter Sheppard Skaerved (violin) [1,2,3,6], Bd. Sgt. Ivan Hutchinson (trumpet) [5], Band of HM Royal Marines, Plymouth [4,6], Longbow [2], Lt. Col. Chris Davis  [2,4,6]
rec. [1, 3-6] 17-19 January 2007, HMS Rayleigh, Plymouth, UK; [2] 23 December 2006, All Saints Church, Tooting, London, UK. DDD
NAXOS 8.570429 [72:07]
Experience Classicsonline


This is an interesting mix of works, by Nigel Clarke, an exciting emerging talent in the British contemporary music scene. Many of the works included here are world premiere recordings, and it is a real pleasure to hear them.
 
The opening track is Pernambuco, a seven minute extravaganza for solo violin. Expertly performed by Peter Sheppard Skaerved, this work is a virtuoso display of instrumental techniques, changing colours and emerging drama. The central lyrical section is captivating and forms a stark contrast with the highly demanding outer sections. The final part of the piece adds percussive effects, which add to the extreme physical demands of the work for the performer. This is a hugely enjoyable piece, which betrays Clarke’s abilities as a composer and his understanding of the instrument he is writing for.  The title refers to ‘brazil wood’, described in the programme notes as ‘vital to the construction of the modern bow’ and the piece as a whole deals with the subject of the bow as an instrument within its own right.
 
The Miraculous Violin was a commission from the British Council and I Solisti di Zagreb, and was composed in close collaboration with all the performers. This is a wonderful work, which engaged me thoroughly from beginning to end. Although this is concert music, it would not be out of place in a film score (in fact, Clarke is also a highly successful film composer). This is a dramatic piece which appeals to the imagination. Again hugely demanding for the performers, this piece is full of Eastern European colours, with a wonderful array of textures and ideas.  The playing is magnificent from all the performers; Longbow accompanies the solo violin line with panache and, once again, Peter Sheppard Skaerved gives a highly polished performance.
 
The remaining solo violin track on this disc is Loulan, a short piece which was inspired by traditional Chinese sounds and structures. Clarke creates an entirely different sound from the instrument than we have heard in the previous two pieces, demonstrating his versatility as a composer. His ability to conjure up images in his work is astonishing, and once again, the violin playing is exemplary.
 
The title track of this disc is Samurai, which is perhaps one of Clarke’s most well known and most frequently performed works. Composed for Wind Ensemble, the piece received its world premiere in Japan by the Royal Northern College of Music’s Wind Orchestra, as one of a number of works commissioned by Timothy Reynish for that ensemble. The title makes reference to Clarke’s admiration of the Samurai culture, and this explosive piece contains elements of Samurai warfare and culture. Sometimes looked down on as a poor substitute to an orchestra, the Wind Orchestra has, from time to time, suffered a bad press. However, well written repertoire such as this proves that there is an important role for this kind of ensemble. Clarke is a master of orchestration; the use of percussion here is particularly compelling.  The rhythmic drive is a life force of this work. This performance by the HM Royal Marines Band, Plymouth, has a wonderful sense of discipline and an underlying warmth of tone.
 
This is followed by Premonitions, a short work for solo trumpet, which serves as a prelude to Black Fire, a work for violin and wind ensemble. Premonitions is a strong piece, containing a range of expressions and colours. The performance here is excellent; Band Sergeant Ivan Hutchinson plays with real panache. Black Fire, the concluding work on the disc, has a range of influences in its composition, including Kurt Weill, Wagner (the work contains a quote from Götterdämmerung), Milton and engravings by Doré (these engravings inspired the title of the work). The solo violin provides a distinctive and sometimes sinister voice against the wind orchestra, with Clarke once again demonstrating his expertise as an orchestrator. There is much in this work to fuel the imagination.
 
This is a well produced recording which contains a fantastic array of works. The playing is consistently excellent and the diversity in Clarke’s output is impressive. Unmissable.
 
Carla Rees
 


 


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
 


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.