NICHOLAS SACKMAN (b.1950): Scorpio for Percussion and Piano (Matthew Dickinson [percussion], Mervyn Cooke [piano]), Time-piece for Brass Quintet (Fine Arts Brass Quintet), Cross hands for Piano (Costas Fotopoulos), Koi for Flute Quartet (Carla Rees, Carolyn Hope, Jane Stevens, Emma Williams [flutes]), Trombone Sonata (Simon Hogg [trombone], Charles Matthews [piano]), Wind Sextet (Rees [flute], Helen Barker [oboe], Emily Sutcliffe [clarinet], John Barker [saxophone], Oliver Fitzgerald-Lombard [horn], Adam Treverton-Jones [bassoon]).
Catalogue Number: 02J111
Reference: MSV CD92049
Description: Engaging and accessible pieces for an interesting variety of ensembles. 'Scorpio' is a dialogue - sometimes more of a full-blooded argument, but with both sides remaining admirably clear in their intentions - between a large and varied percussion battery and the piano. There are some jazzy elements, and the work exudes a vibrant vitality. The brass quintet is similarly energetic, making the most of the intrinsic bright-toned nobility of the instruments, which may also be said of the Trombone Sonata, the latter somewhat less obviously tonal than the former. 'Koi', for four flautists playing various members of the flute family, is unusual in that it presents a thoroughly worked musical argument alongside the predictably showy virtuosic display. The piano piece begins like a modern take on classical keyboard studies, and proceeds toward increasing wildness and modernity as the piece progresses - again, some jazz inflections here and there. The substantial wind sextet is a diverting piece of no great seriousness but a finely crafted entertainment nevertheless.