OLIVER DAVIS (b.1972): Spiral and Sonar for Violin, Piano and Strings, Morpheus for Cello and Orchestra, Liberty for Violin, Viola, Piano and Strings, Lost Lake for Violin and Strings, Bacchus, Chillingham for Soprano, Piano and String Ensemble.

Catalogue Number: 02T072

Label: Signum

Reference: SIGCD522

Format: CD

Price: $17.98

Description: Another hugely appealing disc of Davis' delightful miniatures, to join our previous offerings (10S087, 04Q087; we didn't offer Seasons with his companion-piece to Vivaldi's concerti, but we can get it for you if you've enjoyed the others). As with previous discs, the pieces here mostly resemble neo-baroque concerti grossi, with a somewhat modernised (but unfailingly tonal) harmonic and rhythmic twist, and a hint of minimalism in the music's lively momentum. Throughout the music exudes the effortless accessibility and charm, and flawless craftsmanship, of the idiom of a composer long experienced in writing for film and TV. Sometimes folk music is evoked, as in the finale of Spiral or the second section of Liberty; some pieces have a very 'English pastoral' feel, melded with the descriptive atmosphere of TV documentary music; and some are just pure fun, like the deliciously playful all-pizzicato Bacchus. Pretty much irresistible, regardless of your usual listening habits. Kerenza Peacock, Jonathan Hill (violin), Huw Watkins (piano), Katherine Jenkinson (cello), Timothy Ridout (viola), Grace Davidson (soprano), Emma Heathcote (violin, viola), Royal Philharmonic Orchestra; Paul Bateman.

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