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Claude Debussy (1862-1918): String Quartet, Op.10; Toru Takemitsu (1930-1996): Nostalghia / Scottish Ensemble, Jonathan Morton

Album Summary

>Debussy, Claude : Quartet for Strings in G minor, Op. 10
>Takemitsu, Toru : Black Rain
>Debussy, Claude : La fille aux cheveux de lin
>Takemitsu, Toru : José Torres
>Debussy, Claude : Jimbo's Lullaby, for piano (Children's Corner no 2), L. 113/2
>Takemitsu, Toru : Nostalghia, for violin & strings
Performers Conductor Ensemble Composers

Notes & Reviews:

Fusing French and Japanese influences, SE's new recording features works by Takemitsu and Debussy, two composers who share an instinctive feeling for instrumental colour and sensuous textures. SE's reputation for excellent string arrangements (established with important commissions from the late Rudolph Barshai) continues with Jonathan Morton's arrangement of Debussy's String Quartet. The variety of string techniques and the wide palette of instrumental colors Debussy employed are all enhanced by the larger string ensemble, particularly in the sumptuously beautiful slow movement. In addition, the attractively lyrical Girl with the Flaxen Hair has been orchestrated for string ensemble and two harps by Colin Matthews. Takemitsu's contribution to the string orchestra repertoire includes two contrasting film scores inspired by the French Impressionists. Finishing the album is Takemitsu's hauntingly melancholic Nostalghia, with a heartfelt solo violin melody by Jonathan Morton. SE combines the intimacy and unity of a string quartet with the force and power of an ensemble in this unique and beautiful recording. Re-defining the string orchestra, Scottish Ensemble inspires audiences with vibrant and powerful performances. Scottish Ensemble is the UK's only professional string orchestra, built around a core of twelve outstanding string players. The ensemble is known both in the UK and internationally for its versatility and ambitious programming. Performing standing up, the individual layers bring an energetic and passionate dynamic to every performance.

Gramophone Magazine, August 2016
[Nostalghia] forms the memorable conclusion to this impressive new disc from the Scottish Ensemble. The more poignant for its restraint, this miniature concerto for violin and strings requires just the kind of subtly polished playing that Jonathan Morton and his team provide... Morton's arrangement of Debussy's String Quartet... could hardly be better done, and certainly not better played or recorded than is the case here.

Sunday Times, 26th June 2016
Interleaving Debussy and Takemitsu can't fail. The music of the Japanese is sentient of the Frenchman's while going its gently modernistic way...The Girl with the Flaxen Hair comes over with added mystery and just a hint of Mantovani in Colin Matthews's version.

The Guardian, 16th June 2016
The immediate thing I noticed about this recording, and which I kept noticing all the way through, is how broad, expansive, lush and generally huge the Scottish Ensemble sounds...[it] has always made a thing of playing standing up for a chamber-music kind of nimbleness. But the SE house style is also all about muscular attack.

Notes & Reviews:

Recording information: Caird Hall, Dundee, UK (2014-12-01&2014-12-02&2015-).



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Works Details

>Debussy, Claude : Quartet for Strings in G minor, Op. 10
  • Conductor: Jonathan Morton
  • Ensemble: Scottish Ensemble
  • Notes: Caird Hall, Dundee, UK (2014-12-01&2014-12-02&2015-)
  • Running Time: 25 min. 42 sec.
  • Period Time: Post Romantic
  • Form: Chamber Music
  • Written: 1893

>Takemitsu, Toru : Black Rain :: 2. Funeral Music (from Black Rain)
  • Conductor: Jonathan Morton
  • Ensemble: Scottish Ensemble
  • Notes: Caird Hall, Dundee, UK (2014-12-01&2014-12-02&2015-)
  • Running Time: 4 min. 20 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary
  • Written: 1989

>Debussy, Claude : La fille aux cheveux de lin
  • Performers: Amira Bedrush-McDonald (Violin); Laura Comini (Violin); Sharron Griffiths (Harp); Emily Nenniger (Violin); Ben Norris (Violin); Alastair Savage (Violin)
  • Conductor: Jonathan Morton
  • Ensemble: Scottish Ensemble
  • Notes: Caird Hall, Dundee, UK (2014-12-01&2014-12-02&2015-)
  • Running Time: 4 min. 32 sec.
  • Period Time: Post Romantic
  • Written: 1910

>Takemitsu, Toru : José Torres :: 1. Music of Training and Rest (from José Torres)
  • Conductor: Jonathan Morton
  • Ensemble: Scottish Ensemble
  • Notes: Caird Hall, Dundee, UK (2014-12-01&2014-12-02&2015-)
  • Running Time: 4 min. 39 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary

>Debussy, Claude : Jimbo's Lullaby, for piano (Children's Corner no 2), L. 113/2
  • Conductor: Jonathan Morton
  • Ensemble: Scottish Ensemble
  • Notes: Caird Hall, Dundee, UK (2014-12-01&2014-12-02&2015-)
  • Running Time: 4 min. 4 sec.
  • Period Time: Post Romantic
  • Written: 1906-1908

>Takemitsu, Toru : Nostalghia, for violin & strings
  • Performers: Amira Bedrush-McDonald (Violin); Laura Comini (Violin); Jonathan Morton (Violin); Emily Nenniger (Violin); Ben Norris (Violin); Alastair Savage (Violin); Rakhvinder Singh (Violin)
  • Conductor: Jonathan Morton
  • Ensemble: Scottish Ensemble
  • Notes: Caird Hall, Dundee, UK (2014-12-01&2014-12-02&2015-)
  • Running Time: 11 min. 23 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary
  • Written: 1987