skip to Main Content

Endlessly fascinating

The Guardian, Andrew Clements

Though there are two substantial scores in this collection – the 1957 Refrains and Choruses for wind quintet, Birtwistle’s first published work, and the Five Distances for Five Instruments from 1993 – both are already available on disc, as is the curious Oockooing Bird, a piano piece of uncanny modal wanderings dating from his early teens. The other chamber music, occasional pieces and birthday tributes here fill some of the usually overlooked gaps in the composer’s discography. The 1983 Duets for Storab are a set of six short pieces for two flutes, presenting many of Birtwistle’s familiar technical devices in skeletal form, while Verses for clarinet and piano (1965) uses the verse-and-refrain structures that were the building blocks of all his early works. An Interrupted Endless Melody for oboe and piano (1991), meanwhile, plays with changing perspectives between foreground melody and background harmony. Most of this is not great Birtwistle, but it is endlessly fascinating.

You may also like to see...
Excellent playing, well-balanced and full of character
The glittering talent that is the Galliard Ensemble
Performed with assurance and flair
These will become reference performances
Excellent performances, highly characterful, firmly shaped and dramatic
They have technique, style and high spirits in spades
Immaculate performances … a pure delight … unreservedly recommended
Demands that were easily met
A young ensemble of considerable merit
Superb sound
Excellently played
One of the highlights
Stunning music and extraordinary playing
Well performed
The performances are simply breath-taking
Incisive, confident and well-tuned
Excellent ensemble playing and vivid recording.
Galliard Ensemble
Like angels sent from heaven
Beautiful, delicate and fluent playing
A highly talented wind quintet
Galliard Ensemble
Immaculately prepared

Back To Top
14/07/2020