HARRISON BIRTWISTLE (b.1934): Nenia: The Death of Orpheus and Songs by Myself for Soprano and Ensemble (Alice Rossi [soprano], Das Neue Ensemble; Stefan Asbury), Orpheus Elegies for Countertenor, Oboe and Harp (Johannes Euler [countertenor], Doga Sacilik [oboe], Jasmin-Isabel Kühne [harp]), Fantasia III and Frieze I for String Quartet (Kuss Quartet), 9 Settings of Lorine Niedecker for Soprano and Cello (Sophia Körber [soprano], Aram Yagubian [cello]), Lullaby for 2 Sopranos (Körber, Sarah Lewark), Cantus Iambeus for Ensemble (Das Neue Ensemble; Asbury).
Catalogue Number: 07R054
Label: Toccata Classics
Reference: TOCC 0281
Description: Alongside - even preceding - his monumental operatic output, vocal works in smaller forms have been important to Birtwistle throughout his career. The Orpheus myth, mediaeval forms and texts, as well as the composer's trademark 'melancholia' - his own characterisation - are represented throughout this fascinating collection. The consistency and evolution of his individual style can be seen clearly over the span of more than three decades, and his approach to word setting is revealed especially in the Songs by Myself, for which the composer wrote the sonorous, surreal texts.