DAVID LUMSDAINE (b.1931): Mandala 3 (w/Aleksander Sram [piano], fire in leaf and grass (w/ Sarah Leonard [soprano]), NICOLA LEFANU (b.1947): Trio 2: Song for Peter (Leonard [soprano]), Invisible Places.
Catalogue Number: 02S074
Reference: msv 28565
Description: More than half this disc is given over to Lumsdaine's strange, mystical, compelling Mandala 3. The work begins as a transcription of the final chorus from Bach's St Matthew Passion, but in its second section the introduction of temple gongs, birdsong (a familiar feature of the ornithologist-composer's music) and a collage of other Bach references expands the music's scope and world view. The composer's earlier piano piece, Ruhe sanfte, sanfte ruh' is then introduced, and the piece becomes an extended meditation on the chorus, the piano surrounded by an 'enfolding resonance' of the other instruments, culminating in a recapitulation of the chorus. In celebration of her 70th birthday, leFanu is also represented, in two works - a clarinet quintet composed of sixteen disconnected yet contoguous fragments and a song cycle on themes of mortality, in her exquisitely textured, spare style, deeply expressive with not a note or gesture wasted. Gemini; Ian Mitchell.