ELIZABETH MACHONCHY (1907-1994): Epyllion, PAUL PATTERSON (b.1947): Cello Concerto, Op. 90, MARK KOPYTMAN (b.1929): Kaddish, WITOLD LUTOSLAWSKI (1913-1994): Metamorphoses for Cello and String Orchestra, PAUL HINDEMITH (1895-1963): Trauermusik.
Catalogue Number: 04J103
Reference: NI 5815
Description: Maconchy's Epyllion, as the name suggests, feels like an epic work in dramatically compressed form. In four linked movements, beginning and ending in severe, tragic mood, it encompasses a lively scherzo and an eloquent slow movement. Throughout, the solo writing is melodically rhapsodic, the work as a whole characterized by the composer's tautness of expression and refusal to waste a single note. Patterson's 2002 concerto joins his violin concerto from 10 years earlier, also with strings, as a meticulously crafted solo vehicle and an instantly accessible and dramatic work, firmly rooted in tonality with definite echoes of Shostakovich and Sibelius. Kopytman's Kaddish is an early work, written before the composer emigrated from the USSR to Israel. The sense of mourning ritual is instantly apparent, though the work progresses through a number of diverse moods including hectic dancing episodes with a very Shostakovich feel to them - the composer's Russian environment as clearly to the fore here as his Jewish origins. Of the two more familiar, shorter pieces it is worth noting that the Hindemith is among his very finest, personal and heartfelt works, free of any suggestion of academic dryness, and the Lutoslawski always has been a somber miniature masterpiece, like an ice-floe adrift from the glacier of Sibelius' Fourth symphony. Raphael Wallfisch (cello), Southwest German Chamber Orchestra Pforzheim; William Boughton.