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London Sinfonietta Jerwood 6

James Olsen Chameleon Concerto
Christian Mason In Time Entwined, In Space Enlaced
Larry Goves Springtime
Claudia Molitor untitled 40 [desk-life]
Kenneth Hesketh Detail from the Record

Conductors: David Porcelijn, Baldur Brönnimann and Oliver Knussen

London Sinfonietta Label CD SINF CD2-2009


This is the last of a series featuring the music of young British-based composers, mostly live recordings at London Sinfonietta concerts. Presumably new funding/sponsorship will be sought to prolong this project?

The music here is various and inventive. Predominantly these composers are sensitive to sound and timbre, a great deal of it quiet and intriguing. The Chamelon Concerto has, ostensibly, two soloists, but they are far from spotlit centre stage, camoulflaging an earlier piece for a smaller groupingand in a new context. Likewise, there are two soloists in Springtime; Juliet Fraser, soprano, both "live" and duetting with herself recorded in very high tessitura. Perhaps most extraordinary is Claudia Molitor's piece, which celebrates and incorporates the intimate sounds of things on her desk, "the sound of writing music down" etc, originally with a film of "the score being manipulated". This is experimental stuff, but all the composers have packed CVs and extensive successes in concerts and festivals. Names to watch.

London Sinfonietta is all about youth and the future, but does keep one foot in the recent innovative past and the greats of the last (or is it last but one) generation. Whatever, a word to their graphic designer, Nik Browning; white texts on different shades of yellow/orange backgrounds for this last one are virtually unreadable* for many of us, even with a bright light and a magnifying glass...

Peter Grahame Woolf

*q.v. CD INSERT BOOKLETS - - people with less than pristine perfect eyesight, who are stymied by some
of the colour mixes and trendy over-printing which ensure illegibility - -

Rossini Mezzo Scenes & Arias Rossini

Tancredi; L'Italiana in Algeri; La Cenerentola; La Donna del Lago; Semiramide

Silvia Tro Santafé (mezzo)
Orquesta Sinfónica de Navarra/Julian Reynolds

Signum SIGCD170 (CD)

We don't usually review solo operatic arias CDs, but I put this on for two reasons,
1. because of a preference for lower voices - sopranos' words usually become undecipherable as they get into the leger lines...
& 2. a hobbyhorse about presentation.*

Silvia Tro Santafé has what I'd describe as a robust mezzo voice, strong and characterful. I enjoyed her singing and the accompaniments are sympathetic.

Texts, but no translations.

I provide two photos, the one on the right one offered as a brickbat to the Design & Artwork Editor; surely they could do better than use this personable singer for target practice?

Peter Grahame Woolf