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Insomnia - Includes Britten: Nocturne; Brett Dean: Pastoral Symphony; plus works by Couperin, Ligeti, Gurney, The Beatles and R.E.M. / Aurora Orchestra, Nicholas Collon

Album Summary

>Gurney, Ivor : Sleep, for voice & piano
>Couperin, François : Les Baricades mistérieuses, for harpsichord (Pièces de clavecin, II, 6e ordre)
>Britten, Benjamin : Nocturne, Op. 60
>Lennon, John : Blackbird
>Dean, Brett : Pastoral Symphony
>Ligeti, György : Poème symphonique, for 100 metronomes, 10 performers & 1 conductor
>Stipe, Michael : I've Been High
Performer Conductor Ensemble Composers

Notes & Reviews:

Insomnia is the second Warner Classics album from the innovative, imaginative Aurora Orchestra and its Principal Conductor Nicholas Collon. In a typically colourful themed programme it explores the night, its thoughts and dreams and the hazy space between waking and sleeping. Britten's Nocturne - with tenor Allan Clayton - and Brett Dean's Pastoral Symphony are juxtaposed with music by Couperin, Ligeti, Gurney, The Beatles and R.E.M.

BBC Music Magazine, November 2015
[Britten's] phantasmagorical and often lyrically haunting [Nocturne] provides an excellent showcase for several soloists in the orchestra. Clayton is most successful in Middleton's 'Midnight's bell', his imitation of various night creatures sounding sinister rather than queasily fey; and the natural humanity of his singing makes the concluding Shakespeare Sonnet the appropriate culmination.

Gramophone Magazine, September 2015
Themed around sleep and night, Aurora's programme looks like a musical kleptomaniac's horde... if this were any other group you could dismiss it as gimmickry and move on, but Aurora - joined here by British tenor Allan Clayton - are such persuasive performers, such believers in their musical cause, that it forces you to look and listen again.

The Times, 7th August 2015
[The Aurora Orchestra] has put a tiger in the tank of London music-making...Clayton's superbly nuanced interpretation [of the Britten] is perfectly matched by the Aurora players' virtuosity under Nicholas Collon's direction...[the Brett Dean is] Not easy listening, but a fascinating ecological protest piece brilliantly executed by the Aurora.



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Works Details

>Gurney, Ivor : Sleep, for voice & piano
  • Performer: Allan Clayton (Tenor)
  • Conductor: Nicholas Collon
  • Ensemble: Aurora Orchestra
  • Running Time: 3 min. 7 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern

>Couperin, François : Les Baricades mistérieuses, for harpsichord (Pièces de clavecin, II, 6e ordre)
  • Conductor: Nicholas Collon
  • Ensemble: Aurora Orchestra
  • Running Time: 2 min. 44 sec.
  • Period Time: Baroque
  • Written: 1716-1717

>Britten, Benjamin : Nocturne, Op. 60
  • Performer: Allan Clayton (Tenor)
  • Conductor: Nicholas Collon
  • Ensemble: Aurora Orchestra
  • Running Time: 24 min. 53 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Written: 1958

>Lennon, John : Blackbird
  • Performer: Allan Clayton (Tenor)
  • Conductor: Nicholas Collon
  • Ensemble: Aurora Orchestra
  • Notes: This work was written in collaboration with Paul McCartney (1942 - ).
  • Running Time: 2 min. 56 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary

>Dean, Brett : Pastoral Symphony
  • Conductor: Nicholas Collon
  • Ensemble: Aurora Orchestra
  • Running Time: 16 min. 43 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary
  • Written: 2000

>Ligeti, György : Poème symphonique, for 100 metronomes, 10 performers & 1 conductor
  • Conductor: Nicholas Collon
  • Ensemble: Aurora Orchestra
  • Running Time: 3 min. 55 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Written: 1962

>Stipe, Michael : I've Been High
  • Performer: Allan Clayton (Tenor)
  • Conductor: Nicholas Collon
  • Ensemble: Aurora Orchestra
  • Notes: This work was written in collaboration with Mike Mills (R.E.M.) (1958 - ), Peter Buck (R.E.M.) (1956 - ).
  • Running Time: 3 min. 43 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary