ALEXANDER GOEHR (b.1932): When Adam Fell, Op. 89, Pastorals, Op. 19 (BBC Symphony Orchestra; Oliver Knussen), Marching to Carcassonne for Piano and Orchestra, Op. 74 (Peter Serkin [piano], London Sinfonietta; Knussen).
Catalogue Number: 03O080
Description: These pieces span more than forty years of the composer's output, highlighting important, consistent characteristics of his style; meticulous craftsmanship and structure, based on an intriguing combination of a flexible approach to serialism and formal devices of the past, especially the marvellous mechanisms of the Baroque, precisely calibrated tension, and a sense of relentlessly inquiring dialectic. Pastorals, from 1965, hews most closely to Schoenbergian orthodoxy, while Adam, from 2011, based on a strange bass line by Bach, with wide intervals and a very 'modern' sound, is more explicitly tonal. Carcassonne, after a commentary on Lord Dunsany by Borges, is a series of transmutations of a neo-classical little march heard at the outset, assembled with clockwork precision and incorporating range of baroque devices along the way.