TARIK O’REGAN (b.1978): Latent Manifest, Raï, Chaâbi, Excerpts from Heart of Darkness (Hallé Orchestra; Jamie Phillips), A Celestial Map of the Sky (Manchester Grammar School Choir, Hallé Youth Choir, Hallé Orchestra; Mark Elder).
Catalogue Number: 03S077
Description: O'Regan composes in a very accessible, thoroughly tonal idiom, though with a fresh, invigorating personal style. He is fond of propulsive, syncopated rhythms, which in some cases more than others probably qualify as post-minimalist, though without the sense of repetition of strictly minimal music. The lively, dancing energy that sooner or later erupts in all these works is infectious and appealing, but the composer also has a gift for lyrical, more intimate music full of neo-Romantic expression. Two of the works - Raï and Chaâbi - draw on Algerian traditional music, acknowledging O'Regan's Algerian heritage. The suite from his opera Heart of Darkness (after Conrad) is a vivid and vibrantly orchestrated series of episodes, combining an unmistakably American sound (Copland, Bernstein; the composer has lived in New York for years) with European neo-romanticism. Celestial Map draws on star charts by Dürer, and sets poetical texts by Gerard Manley Hopkins, Whitman and others in a style amalgamated from the English choral tradition and romantic post-minimalism à la John Adams. Latent Manifest ingeniously expands a tiny phrase from Bach into an exuberantly colorful orchestral fantasia.