JONATHAN HARVEY (b.1939): Scena for Violin and Orchestra, Jublius for Viola and Ensemble, Speakings for Large Orchestra and Electronics.

Catalogue Number: 10M100

Label: Aeon

Reference: AECD 1090

Format: CD

Price: $17.98

No Longer Available

Description: These works all exemplify Harvey's ongoing concern with the archetypes of language, and its relationship to the expression of spiritual concerns. Scena places the violin soloist in a succession of tableaux that strongly suggest (unspecified, but clearly delineated) events involving a singing protagonist, as in an opera. A 'lament' is followed by 'mystical', 'romantic' events, a 'dream' and a final 'metamorphosis'. Jubilus evokes the image of a solitary monk chanting - both plainchant and Buddhist ceremonies are suggested. The solo viola begins with the melismas of traditional plainchant, but already temple bells n the ensemble tend toward he east; the piece gradually metamorphoses into an evocation of Tibetan ritual chant. Speakings is the most explicitly based on the human voice, though like the other two works, the piece is purely instrumental, with a MIDI-synchronised electronic part created at IRCAM which applies the formants of speech to instrumental textures and projects them spatially into the orchestral texture. Live transformation of the sound also occurs, creating the eerie effect of instruments 'singing' human vocalizations. The result is an evocation of the evolution of language, as though the unformed, inorganic sounds of the orchestra gradually learn self-expression through speech in the course of the piece. Elizabeth Layton (violin), Scott Dickinson (viola), BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra; Ilan Volkov.

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