CHRISTOPHER GUNNING (b.1944): Symphonies Nos. 6 & 7, Night Voyage.
Catalogue Number: 02W068
Format: CD reissue
Description: Gunning is a very considerable symphonist in the British tonal tradition (06K099, 09P008, 11Q007, 01V001), and it is good to welcome this recording back to the catalogue after a six-year absence (wee offered it in November of 2014 - 11Q007). The Sixth's opening motif re-emerges at climactic moments throughout the work first expabnded into a serious opening movement before transitioning into a driven scherzo over an ostinato figure. This subsides to give way to a nocturnal slow movement. The 'finale' is a sprightly fugato with voices adopting a wide variety of timbral coloration as they move around between sections of the orchestra, eventually reintroducing a final, grand statement of the opening motif. The Seventh is divided into six sections, with a clear sense of narrative progression. There is a very Sibelian feel to the opening, with its sense of brooding anticipation, and also to various recurring gestures throughout the piece, which is described by the composer as representing the experiences of an eventful sea journey. The tone poem Night Voyage continues this idea, with an optimistic departure, the challenge of a violent storm, and a final arrival or resolution. Royal Philharmonic Orchestra. Christopher Gunning. Original 2014 Discovery Sound and Vision release - 11Q007.