JENNIFER FOWLER (b.1939): Line Spun with Stars for Flute, Cello and Piano, Streaming Up for Flute, Oboe, Clarinet, Cello and Piano, Lament for Oboe, Clarinet and Bassoon, Lady Maisry for Soprano and Piano, Letter from Haworth for Mezzo-Soprano, Clarinet, Cello and Piano, From the Cave Mouth for Soprano, Clarinet and Violin.
Catalogue Number: 10V051
Reference: MSV 28588
Description: The CD, borrowing its title from one of the pieces, is well named, as linearity, the progression from one idea to the next with geometrical elegance and logical inevitability, is a fundamental feature of Fowler's style. As she describes it: "My aim is to convey a sense of direction in music, which is guided by a kind of logic: ... one cannot foresee the next step ... yet [it] will have a sound of inevitability when it arrives." This approach is not dependent on conventional key relationships (though the music is far from atonal), but rather on a sense of stepwise progression or change from one event to another. Thus Lines ... links 'stars' - little gestures of adjacent notes - by 'lines' of monophonic progressions of pitches; and in Streaming Up, linear instrumental gestures inspired by nature spirits in Buddhist mythology in the form of energy exuberantly flying upward. The vocal lines of the sung pieces are eloquent and expressive, bringing a sense of narrative continuity even to the Delphic utterances of the composer’s syllabic text in From the Cave Mouth, the voice intertwined with closely matched instrumental lines like threads of incense smoke. The other songs, one to a repressed but passionate early letter of Charlotte Bronté, the other setting a traditional English verse about a noblewoman dying in childbirth (itself a kind of tragic progression), are emotionally expressive but within strict limitations, of activity of material and extroversion of content, both contained by a kind of formal restraint which is also present in Lament in memory of a friend of the composer. Texts included. Raphaela Papadakis (soprano), Lauren Easton (mezzo), Lontano; Odaline de la Martinez.