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Helen Grime: Night Songs / Lynsey Marsh, clarinet; The Hallé SO; Hallé Soloists; Phillips; Elder

Notes & Reviews:

Helen Grime's Debut Disc contrasts orchestral works - including her first Hallé commission,the nocturne Near Midnight (2013) - with smaller-scale pieces featuring the Hallé Soloists. The earliest work here, Virga, is a densely-packed miniature, taking its title from precipitation which evaporates before it reaches the ground; its textures are dominated by falling cascades of woodwind droplets. Night Songs was commissioned for the 2012 BBC Proms and premiered by the BBC SO and Oliver Knussen. Other works include Into the faded air - a string sextet titled after a line from T.S.Eliot’s Four Quartets - the Clarinet Concerto, featuring Hallé principal lLynsey Marsh, and Everyone Sang - insired by Siegfried Sassoon.

Sunday Times, 28th September 2014
Grime (b.1981) is a composer of keen accomplishment in a bright modern mode - glittery, incisive, full of leaping lines and incandescent climaxes - perhaps originating in the harmonically astute, orchestrally virtuosic music of figures such as Oliver Knussen and Magnus Lindberg.

Gramophone Magazine, December 2014
The performances are a tribute to the dedication of HallT players, whether in orchestral or ensemble guise, and have all been recorded with the spaciousness and immediacy which this music needs.

American Record Guide, March/April 2015
Helen Grime's Night Songs is music for chamber orchestra, not a collection of songs. The piece that stands out most is the Clarinet Concerto, for its inventive orchestration and play between soloist and ensemble. Periods of calm and a more reflective mood are sustained. This is her music's greatest strength: there is a mature, appropriate balance of affects. The performances by the Halle soloists are excellent. I can recommend this with some enthusiasm, especially as there should be plenty more work coming from the Scottish composer.


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