GORDON CROSSE (b.1937): Purgatory.
Catalogue Number: 08K012
Description: Purgatory is based on Yeats' disturbing play, a highly economically structured parable of the disintegration of a family, using techniques derived from Noh theater. With only two characters, with the element of the supernatural used to illustrate past events and underline the idea of inescapable recurring history, the story is of the destruction of a once noble family, culminating in the murder by The Old Man of his father (in the past) and his son (in the present). Crosse's music is similarly economical, organizing material tightly around a note-row, underlining the idea that souls in Purgatory never escape the recurrence of their sins. Suggestions of tonal progressions in sections with a clear affinity with Britten give the narrative direction, while Yeats' text is presented almost in its entirety, in expressive, recitative-style singing, strongly characterized. Libretto included. Peter Bodenham (tenor), Glenville Hargreaves (baritone), Orchestra and Chorus of the Royal Northern College of Music; Michael Lankester. Original 1975 Argo LP release.