Magazine article Gramophone

Causton

Magazine article Gramophone

Causton

Article excerpt

Causton

Millennium Scenes (a). Notturno (b). As Kingfishers Catch Fire (b). The Persistence of Memory (b). Chamber Symphony (c) (bc) Birmingham Contemporary Music Group / (b) Gerry Cornelius, (c) Ryan Wigglesworth; (a) Halle Orchestra / Nicholas Collon NMC [F] NMCD192 (77' * DDD)

Although Richard Causton provides extensive and interesting programme notes to enhance one's appreciation and understanding of the orchestral and chamber works contained on this disc, his music clearly speaks for itself. Millennium Scenes, which opens the disc, is a 16-minute piece for large orchestra, divided into 12 short continuous sections. The first one, Fence, pits unsion string melodies against jagged percussion gestures and sounds of nature. Massive dissonant textures pile up in the brief Largo, followed by a petulant dance featuring aggressive hand drums and exotic-sounding rapid woodwind flourishes. Part 2's first three sections generally manipulate slow-moving tone clusters, while its Coda recapitulates material from the first section along with strategic silences.

Notturno's spacious, introspective first two movements feature memorably evocative solo passages for piano and viola supported by billowy ensemble chording that shifts around to subtle effect. …

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