BRIAN ELIAS (b.1948): The House that Jack Built for Orchestra, Doubles for Orchestra, A Talisman for Bass and Orchestra (Tim Martin [bass]).
Catalogue Number: 12N078
Description: The restless energy of Elias' music, its incisive rhythmic insistence and sense of almost frantic forward motion - characteristics that may remind the listener of the dancing movements in Messiaen's orchestral pieces - render the works instantly accessible, despite their relatively modern harmonic idiom. The House refers to the cumulative nursery rhyme of that name, and evokes the hectic energy and boisterousness, casual taunting cruelty ad repetitive actions of children's playground games. The Talisman is a 19th-century Jewish artifact that relates to the composer's diverse family background in the Middle- and Far East. The phrases and words engraved on the object - some of them obscure or untranslatable - are intoned impressively in a characteristically richly textured orchestral context, with a ritualistic or liturgical feel. Doubles consists of six movements, the latter three of which 'double' - i.e. elaborately vary the form of - the first three. The orchestral writing is bold and colorful, again with the restless, dancing energy and biting harmony that recur throughout Elias' music. Hebrew-English texts. BBC Symphony Orchestra; Andrew Davis, Jirí Belohlávek and Martyn Brabbins, respectively.