ANNA CLYNE (b.1980): Masquerade, This Midnight Hour, The Seamstress for Violin, Voice and Orchestra, Night Ferry, rewind.
Catalogue Number: 12W058
Description: A thrilling collection of powerful orchestral works by a composer rapidly emerging as one of the most remarkable and original voices of the current generation of British talent. We offered her splendid cello concerto, DANCE in June: "... full of aching lyricism, vigorous action and profundity. [...] it certainly isn’t embarrassed in the company of [the Elgar concerto, with] their shared "romanticism, warmth and humanity". This disc reinforces and amplifies those impressions. In her full-blooded, neo-romantic idiom, Clyne never fails to grab the listener's attention and sustain it throughout her vivid, technicolor musical tableaux; these are the contemporary equivalent of the tone poems and musical legends of earlier generations, Strauss, Liszt, Balakirev, Tchaikovsky, Nielsen, and Sibelius, and like them, she doesn’t shy away from richly programmatic, narrative content, often with a literary inspiration. The Seamstress, an extraordinarily evocative and powerful violin concerto, takes as its point of departure W.B.Yeats' poem "A Coat": "I made my song a coat / Covered with embroideries / Out of old mythologies ..." and proceeds to weave a vivid dream-world that delves deeply into the occult, strange faerie world of Yeats' best poetry. Beginning with thread of an Irish-sounding melody, as though heard against the backdrop of an ancient, glowering landscape, the work presents five fantastical dream-tales that range from the ethereal and mysterious to the climactic ostinato (the ground a variant of the main theme) - a dream of towering battlements and mountains perhaps - and the propulsive, passionate variation that follows. The piece finally unravels as the final thread of the "folk song" tune is pulled loose. This Midnight Hour is also based on poetry; that of Juan Ramón Jiménez's vision of music as a mad woman running naked through the night, and of Baudelaire's Harmonie du soir from Les fleurs de mal, with its intoxicating imagery redolent of suffocating shrouds of velvet draperies, crepuscular shadows, the smoke of hashish and opium. Again, this is robust, muscular, viscerally stirring music, the composer unafraid of churning emotion and explicit programmatic narrative - Baudelaire's wailing souls and melancholy waltz are vividly depicted. The stunning symphonic poem Night Ferry stands alongside any, and exceeds most, musical depictions of storms, literal, metaphorical and psychological. Its poetic impetus comes from Seamus Heaney's "Elegy" for Robert Lowell, a great poet and manic-depressive: "You were our Night Ferry / thudding in a big sea, / the whole craft ringing / with an armourer's music / the course set willfully across / the ungovernable and dangerous". The immense orchestra is unleashed in titanic tides, finally becalmed in the depths "where everything is music…". Masquerade was a curtain-raiser for the last night of the London Proms, and evokes a raucous and rather uncouth street festival with fireworks, jugglers, clowns and acrobats, while the hectic orchestral toccata <