MARK JOHN MCENCROE (b.1947): Daybreak, Cindy’s Song, A Rainy Summer’s Day, A Penny for your Thoughts, Dance of the Pagans, Fleeting Images, Natalie’s Theme, Nocturnal Images, Fading Memories, Floating Lilies, Shimmering Lights.
Catalogue Number: 03V062
Label: Navona Records
Description: Volume 2 (of a projected 4) of "Reflections and Recollections" from McEncroe's life. The composer has a gift for coming up with memorable melodies, which are then explored in a variety of harmonizations and orchestral colors by way of development. A fuller assessment of his intentions and style accompanied the previous offering, 10V052, all of which applies to this release as well. All the works bear evocative titles intended to give a general impression of their inspiration. Thus McEncroe's dancing Pagans sound like a jolly lot, perhaps relatives of Grieg's subjects of the Mountain King. Two ladies - Cindy and Natalie - are named, but characteristically McEncroe declines to expand on their biographies, preferring as usual to create an impression and then leave the listener to construct their own program. Cindy dances an elegant waltz in an ornate ballroom - McEncroe likes waltzes; quite a lot of his recollections are in triple time - while Natalie seems to stir some nostalgic passion. Several pieces with titles including 'thoughts', 'memories' and 'images' are introspective and reflective, with presumably personal associations for the composer, like the momentary exotic interlude - a dream? - in Nocturnal Images, though this could also be his talented orchestrator, Mark Saliba's response to some 'Eastern' modal writing in the original piano piece. Janáček Philharmonic; Anthony Armoré.