Magazine article Gramophone

Foskett: Five Night Pieces

Magazine article Gramophone

Foskett: Five Night Pieces

Article excerpt

Foskett

Five Night Pieces (a). Hornet II (b). From Trumpet (c). On From Four (d). Dinosaur (e). Cinq Chansons a Hurle-Vent (f) (f) Raphaele Kennedy sop (e) Eric Lamb ft (b) Mark van de Wiel cl (a) Jean-Francois Becquaert sop sax (a) Richard Uttley pf (c) Halle Orchestra / Nicholas Collon; (b) London Sinfonietta / Geoffrey Paterson; (d) Psappha / Nicholas Kok NMC [F] NMCD195 (68' * DDD * T)

As Christopher Austin points out, an assessment of Ben Foskett's composing this past decade needs to take into account his ballet output, as well as orchestrations for film and television. Even so, this 'portrait' disc makes for a viable overview of a period during which his music has evolved in distinctive though unexpected ways. Certainly Five Night Pieces (2001) feels indebted to post-war modernism in harmonic density and fragmented yet keenly controlled momentum. With Hornet II (2004), however, the emphasis is already shifting towards a more concrete and dramatic presentation of ideas the two movements pursuing a subtly contrasted approach to the relationship of clarinet and ensemble as amounts to a satisfying whole despite (or because of?) its inherent duality. The likely culmination of this phase, the Proms commission From Trumpet (2009), unfolds as a free passacaglia whose textures become more stratified and tangibly melodic as the piece opens out expressively before its almost impatient ending. …

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