BRIAN FERNEYHOUGH (b.1943): Missa Brevis for 12 Solo Singers, The Doctrine of Similarity for Choir and Ensemble, 2 Marian Motets for 2 Sopranos and Choir, Stelae for Failed Time for Choir and Pre-recorded Sound.
Catalogue Number: 09J086
Description: The early (1969) Missa is an experimental work in several ways; the incorporation of spoken vocalisations and fragmentary phonemes alongside the more traditional sung material, and the very idea of a sung mass (and a Latin one at that) in such a complex, modern style were quite revolutionary ideas at the time. Doctrine and Stelae are extracted from Ferneyhough's recent theatre piece Shadowtime, and are, necessarily, more theatrical than the earlier work, though largely not more vocally innovative. One is less aware of the musical complexity and notational innovations in a work where the conventions of modern theatre predominate - which is one reason why Shadowtime as a whole, with its instrumental solo sections, concertante passages and multiple characterisations,both acted and musically expressed, is more accessible than it has any right to be. The Motets, begun very early (1966) and finished recently, provide an interesting glimpse of the evolution of the composer's style, with conventional vocal writing but already a preoccupation with heterophony and unrelated independent lines, which as we know is now Ferneyhough's most established and notorious technique. No texts. BBC Singers, Lontano; Odaline de la Martinez.