CHRISTOPHER BLAKE (b.1949): Angel at Ahipara, Night Journey to Pawarenga, Christ at Whangape, Anthem on the Kaipara.
Catalogue Number: 03O087
Reference: ACD 441
Description: Back in December of 2004 we offered a symphony and three tone poems by this New Zealand composer and the characterization of his music included "writing that produces an austere yet soul-stirring harmonic vocabulary". These works for string orchestra, written in 2000, 2003, 2008 and 2007 (in the order listed above), are further examples of Blake's neo-Romantic voice which also carries hints of Eastern European minimalism and the 20th century genre of English music for strings. Each of the pieces was inspired by a black-and-white photograph of Northland New Zealand which deals with the spiritual domain (a church in the middle of nowhere, a statue of Christ near a small harbor, an angel on a tomb in an old cemetary and a small World War II memorial). Each is in seven short movements whose depictions are included in detail in notes by the composer. Austere, moving, often quiet but capable of emotional outbursts, these miniature tone-poems have a haunting, memorable quality all their own. Strings of the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra; Kenneth Young.