SALLY BEAMISH (b.1956): The Lion and the Deer (Michael Chance [countertenor]), LYNNE PLOWMAN (b.1969): Cries Like Silence (Sophie Bevan [soprano], Carolyn Dobbin [mezzo], Ben Johnson [tenor], Dawid Kimberg [baritone]), TARIK O'REGAN (b.1978): And There Was A Great Calm (Bevan [soprano]), CECILIA MCDOWALL (b.1951): Ave Maris Stella (Alexandra Stevenson [soprano]).

Catalogue Number: 01K108

Label: Avie

Reference: AV2147

Format: CD

Price: $17.98

Description: These works were commissioned by Portsmouth Grammar School in association with the London Mozart Players as part of their ongoing annual Remembrance Sunday (the British equivalent of Memorial Day) tributes. McDowall's work is a fine specimen of the British choral tradition, alternately tranquil, agitated and consoling. Lynne Plowman's 'Cries Like Silence' sets e.e.cummings and Ted Hughes, opening and closing in innocence, interrupted by a sinister and violent battle sequence, though it should be noted that the music, while tough and dramatic, avoids any suggestion of avant garde unapproachability. The same is true of O'Regan's work, which begins gently, reminiscing about the past, and progresses towards a more active celebration of the possibilities of the future. Beamish sets translations of 14th-century poems of Hafez on themes of love symbolized by animals, each with its own distinct character, with spoken interpolations by schoolchildren; soaring modal melodies occasionally have an Hovhaness-like orientalism, and unusual instruments and instrumental and vocal timbres add exoticism to the vivid sonic landscape. Texts included. Portsmouth Grammar School Chamber Choir, London Mozart Players; Nicolae Moldoveanu.

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