SALLY BEAMISH (b.1956): The Seafarer Trio (Alexander McCall Smith [narrator]), JUDITH WEIR (b.1954): Piano Trio No. 2, NIGEL OSBORNE (b.1948): The Piano Tuner.

Catalogue Number: 06M092

Label: Delphian

Reference: DCD 34084

Format: CD

Price: $17.98

Description: Beamish's work sets and illuminates the Anglo-Saxon poem 'The Seafarer', the text intoned by a narrator as a component of the piece, which is nonetheless driven as much by its musical argument, much more than a mere accompaniment, as by the words. In a predominantly tonal idiom, the music sets out a series of tableaux describing the overwhelming omnipresence of the natural world and the literal and metaphorical struggle of mankind to make headway within it. The music is powerfully atmospheric, brooding and angry, though progressing toward a sense of prayerful optimism, and the vividness of the imagery is underlined by the composer's use of surging wave effects, bird calls, and bell sounds. Weir's trio explores some Zen concepts in music with the acclaimed stage composer's typical sense of narrative. Again, the piece is broadly tonal, with inflections of folk song and music of the East. The Piano Tuner derives its material from Osborne's opera of the same name, and as in the other works here, a narrative is implied throughout a succession of episodes or scenes. Incorporating elements of Eastern idioms in a tonal, Western vocabulary, the music is very approachable and full of character. Fidelio Trio.

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