song-cycle Archive

GAVIN BRYARS: The Fifth Century; Two Love Songs – Prism Quartet/The Crossing/Donald McNally – ECM New Series

GAVIN BRYARS: The Fifth Century; Two Love Songs – Prism Quartet/The Crossing/Donald McNally – ECM New Series

Music that sounds both ancient and modern and beautiful throughout. GAVIN BRYARS: The Fifth Century; Two Love Songs – Prism Quartet/The Crossing/Donald McNally – ECM New Series ECM2405, 50:58 [Distr. by Naxos] (11/18/16) 50:58 ****: I have always found Gavin Bryars’ music to be beautiful, mysterious, unique; sometimes a bit disturbing – but always worth investigating. Known for its often slow-paced and quiet kind of minimalist-inspired sound, his music continues this effect with The Fifth Century, a song cycle after the seventeenth-century English poet and theologian Thomas Traherne. The title is actually also the name of a treatise on the “essence of God” by Traherne. While the texts are steeped with imagery of the infinite, of the heavens and of eternity, the real attention-getting aspect of this piece is Bryars’ rich, yet sparse, chord progressions and voicings and the beauty they produce. The other aspect of this score that cannot be appreciated until heard is the use of a saxophone quartet to accompany the otherwise a capella choir. One would think that saxophone quartets in such a context would drown the vocals or be given some oddly out of place chordal progressions or exposed moments that sound very stereotypically “saxophone-like.” […]

Tara Hugo Sings Philip Glass (TrackList follows] – Tara Hugo, sop./ Christian Rutledge & Trevor Gureckis, p./ Megan Gould, Luke Cissell & Claudia Chopek, violins/ Karen Waltuch, viola/ Noah Hoffeld, cello/ Logan Coale, doublebass/ Alex Sopp, flute/ Hideaki Aomari, clarinet/ Alicia Lee, bass clarinet/ Ashley Jackson, harp/ Freddie Stevenson & Danielle Schwob, guitars – Orange Mountain Music

Tara Hugo Sings Philip Glass (TrackList follows] – Tara Hugo, sop./ Christian Rutledge & Trevor Gureckis, p./ Megan Gould, Luke Cissell & Claudia Chopek, violins/ Karen Waltuch, viola/ Noah Hoffeld, cello/ Logan Coale, doublebass/ Alex Sopp, flute/ Hideaki Aomari, clarinet/ Alicia Lee, bass clarinet/ Ashley Jackson, harp/ Freddie Stevenson & Danielle Schwob, guitars – Orange Mountain Music

One of the best discs of the year, guaranteed to warm your heart and soothe your soul.