HARRISON BIRTWISTLE (b.1934): The Ring Dance of the Nazarene (Roderick Williams [baritone]), The Moth Requiem, On the Sheer Threshold of the Night, Carmen Paschale, Lullaby, Three Latin Motets from The Last Supper.

Catalogue Number: 03P088

Label: Signum

Reference: SIGCD368

Format: CD

Price: $17.98

Description: Admirers of Birtwistle's operas will find much to enjoy - and a certain amount to recognise - here. The Motets form part of the opera The Last Supper, and On the Sheer Threshold of the Night is intimately related to The Mask of Orpheus. Birtwistle makes of his choral textures a complex skein, with the choir divided into many parts, and in the accompanied works, instantly recognizable instrumental sounds, with the emphasis on instruments with a rapid attack to each note - plucked strings, percussion, winds. The works with Christian associations seem to hark back to Mediaeval mystery plays and arcane rituals rather than having much to do with the civilizing modern church. The vanishing species of nocturnal lepidoptera memorialized by name in Birtwistle's 2012 work could stand symbolically for the archaic, fleeting memories important in many of the composer's works. Texts included. BBC Singers, The Nash Ensemble; Nicholas Kok.

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