Nigel Clarke: Music for Thirteen Solo Strings
For three decades the English composer Nigel Clarke (b. 1960) has worked in close collaboration with the violinist Peter Sheppard Skærved. Clarke’s engaging and energetic music often takes its cue from a dramatic or poetic impulse, here featuring two tributes to Edith Cavell, the British nurse shot in the First World War, two musical portraits of the town of Dover, and Parnassus, the first piece to result from this collaboration, which initiated a series of pieces for string ensemble, most recently for their virtuoso collective Longbow.
Bronius Kutavičius: The Seasons: Oratorio
Bronius Kutavičius’ oratorio The Seasons (2005–8) sets texts from a classic Lithuanian poem by the eighteenth-century pastor-poet Kristijonas Donelaitis which describes the lives of the peasants as they toil throughout the year. Kutavičius has long been fascinated with Lithuania’s folk-heritage, and The Seasons mixes musical modernism and primitivism in a powerful portrayal of the interaction of human activity and natural forces.
Matvey Nikolaevsky: Songs and Dances
The Roaring Twenties roared in Russia as well as in Europe and America, to an extent generally unsuspected in the west. This CD reveals for the first time the light music of a minor master of the day, Matvey Nikolaevsky (1882–1942), whose songs and dances were hits in the early years of the Soviet Union. His style evolved effortlessly from the salon music of the late nineteenth century to the foxtrots, Charlestons and tangos popular during the relatively liberal New Economic Policy introduced by Lenin in 1921 and which Soviet audiences continued to enjoy after the NEP was abolished by Stalin in 1928.
Niklas Sivelöv: Piano Music
The tradition of the pianist-composer features some of the best-known names in music, among them Mozart, Beethoven, Chopin, Brahms and Rachmaninov. Now the Swedish pianist Niklas Sivelöv (born in Stockholm in 1968) humbly joins their ranks, with music coloured by a range of influences, from Bach to jazz. This recording presents some of his early compositions and some of his most recent.