Before I heard this disk, the names of David Sutton–Anderson
and Avril Anderson were just that to me – names. For some reason
I’d never managed to hear a note of their music, despite having
ample opportunity to do so. Repetitive Strain makes a
good start to this recital for it is, as the booklet tells us,
“a tour de force of colour”. It’s very vital and has a forward
momentum, which is snuffed out at the end. I would have said
that it was a tour de force of compositional ingenuity. After
the geniality of Repetitive Strain, Fantasia comes
as something of a shock, its being an austere monolith of a
Unda maris spends its short duration stripping away textures
until only the quietest is left. It’s engaging and very interesting.
The Lone Piper consists of a solo over delicate repetitive
accompaniment. There’s a very satisfying growth to the piece
and it becomes quite dance–like. The Three Pieces – Meditation,
Prière and 44 Frames – comprise two short, quiet,
pieces and a longer, wilder, episode.
The Grass is Sleeping seems to be an uncomfortable night,
with much happening in the long, slow, tread of the music; birdsong,
desolate wastes, endless, empty vistas. Take your pick, they
are all here. Attractive? No. Exciting and interesting? Most
certainly. Compelling? Indubitably.
Husband and wife collaborated for a brief birthday tribute to
their teacher John Lambert – Happy Birthday Mr Lambert
– which is joyous and fun, just what a teacher deserves from
his pupils. Each Night That Dies With Dawn is a dramatic
brother to The Grass is Sleeping and encircling, unfolding
is a serious exploration of colour.
This disk is a worthy successor to Volume 1, which featured
music by Laurence Crane and Gabriel Jackson, which is very well
recorded and beautifully presented. However, with the exception
of the short birthday piece, all the music is intensely serious
and thus perhaps this disk is not to be played in one sitting
because there is a lack of real variety between the pieces.
That said, there is some fine music here which is worth investigating.
See also review
of Volume 1 by Bob Briggs