CHRISTOPHER GUNNING (b.1944): Symphony No. 5 (Royal Philharmonic Orchestra; Christopher Gunning), String Quartet No. 1 (Juno String Quartet).
Catalogue Number: 09P008
Label: Discovery Music and Vision
Description: Unlike his previous two symphonies, which were 20 or so minutes and in single-movement form, Gunning's Fifth (2009) is a big, four-movement work of over 51 minutes which makes use of a very large orchestra (particularly striking brass writing) and takes the recently rather popular form of a journey through the stages of life. The first movement is both lyrical and dramatic, the second a gentle reminiscence of childhood scenes, the third a vital and adventurous scherzo and the finale an agitated and turbulent movement with embedded moments of reflection. The quartet (1999) bases all four movements on a three-note motif: a passacaglia, a fugal scherzo, a contemplative slow movement and and enthusastic rondo finale.