A nice chamber orchestra disc in surround of British music from four composers.
“British, Now!” BRITTEN: Simple Sym.; BERKELEY: Antiphone for Strings; BRYARS: In Nomine; NYMAN: When Ingrid Met Capa – Dogma Ch. Orch./ Mikhail Gurewitsch – Audio Max (D&G) 912 1944-6, 48:52 multichannel SACD [4/29/16] (2+2+2) ****:
This enjoyable program was inspired by the diversity of recent British music. It brings together minimalism, Romanticism and modernism with a portion of underlying humor. The four movements of the early Benjamin Britten work – the best known here – are adaptations of Baroque dances and show the composer’s childish sincerity.
Berkeley and Britten were good friends and after Berkeley’s conversion to Catholicism the composer wrote more and more works on religious themes, including this one. The Antiphony was a music genre in the early Christian church. The genre also forms the basis of the Gavin Bryars’ piece on the SACD. The work is based on the music of both Taverner and Purcell and is subtitled “After Purcell.”
Michael Nyman began composing in a Hindemith/Shostakovich style, and came to public attention with his score for the film The Piano. His ten-minute work, written especially for the Dogma Chamber Orchestra, uses themes from a 2015 documentary film Seducing Ingrid Bergman.