HOWARD SKEMPTON (b.1947): Chamber Concerto, Clarinet Quintet, The Voice of the Spirits for Choir, The Bridge of Fire for Choir, Suite from Delicate for 2 Cellos and Percussion, Roundels of the Year for Choir, Rise up, my Love for Choir, Ben Somewhen for Flute, Clarinet, Harp, Violin, Viola, 2 Cellos and Double Bass.

Catalogue Number: 09J084

Label: NMC

Reference: D135

Format: CD

Price: $19.98

Description: The works for instrumental groups are vintage Skempton; little transparent miniatures which recycle romantic harmonies and classical gestures to create works of disarming and deceptive simplicity. As his intention is never to depict high drama or uncontrolled passion, the exquisite refinement of these little pieces invites us instead to take pleasure in re-examining as though never having seen it before the minutest detail of a musical idea. Possibly, armed with this new perspective, one may start paying more attention to the details in other, more complex, musical constructions as well, in which case Skempton will have done a great service to music in general. The choral works are, without apparent irony, very much in the English choral tradition that the Victorians would have recognized, and his precisely nuanced settings of his chosen texts provide very enjoyable specimens of the genre. Exaudi, Birmingham Contemporary Music Group; James Weeks.

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