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Twice Through the Heart SARAH CONNOLLY
Hidden Love Song MARTIN ROBERTSON soprano saxophone
The Torn Fields GERALD FINLEY baritone

LPO own label 0031 [recorded 2007, TT: 66:15]

A compelling CD to celebrate the successful Composer Residency of M-A Turnage with the LPO. It also celebrates the relationship of Turnage with his cellist wife Gabi Swallow, fiancée when he wrote the Hidden Love Song for her, soloist Martin Robertson (saxophone) but with a solo cello part included too.

The main items are vocal, and feature two of the finest singers now flourishing. Perhaps the more unusual, and finally the most memorable, is the raw setting of the words of a 'murderess' from her prison cell, text by Jackie Kay on a true life story of a domestic killing with powerful mitigation if only the protagonist had not refused to speak out against her husband's prolonged abuse which drove her over the edge. The word setting is naturalistic and persuasive and one quickly becomes identified with the protagonist's resignation to her plight.

It is all recorded vividly and directed with a sure baton by Marin Alsop, whose recent Elgar No 1 has been noted by Musical Pointers as exceptional. I have had varying responses to Mark-Anthony Turnage and we were underwhelmed by his opera The Silver Tassie, but both the song cycles here hit their bulls eyes.

Peter Grahame Woolf