DAVID MATTHEWS (b.1943): 8 Duos, ALAN RAWSTHORNE (1905-1971): Theme and Variations, E.J. MOERAN (1894-1950): Sonata for 2 Violins, JOHN MCCABE (b.1939): Spielend, JIM AITCHISON (b.1970s??): Syruw: 5 Kazakh Tableaux, WILLIAM CROFT (1678-1727): Sonata, Op. 3/4.

Catalogue Number: 10O081

Label: NMC

Reference: D182

Format: CD

Price: $18.98

Description: Aitchison's piece consists of five pieces which are gradually revealed to be variations on a Kazakh song, with a narrative thread depicting aspects of Kazakh life and textile art. The piece combines rough-hewn folkiness with atmospheric scene-setting. McCabe describes Spielend as an 'extended musical pun' in which the composer enlists the performers' participation in various musical 'games' - competitive imitation, playful competition, and the rigorous intellectual sport of fugue. Matthews' Duos are distinctive character pieces, with references to music of nationalistic character, not least several aspects of Englishness, from pastoral to grittily urban, concluding with a gently dignified fugue and a lyrically soaring arietta. Moeran's Sonata, a rarity, remarkably encapsulates the composer's unmistakable voice within the confines of the unusual and limited medium. A breezy, open-air first movement is followed by a lively scherzo and a robust and intricate, surprisingly full-textured passacaglia finale. Rawsthorne's stylistically diverse and sophisticated Variations, a work that helped secure his early reputation - appealingly rounds out the recital. Retorica (Harriet Mackenzie & Philippa Mo, violins).


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