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Turnage: This Silence, etc / Sally Matthews, Nash Ensemble

Album Summary

>Turnage, Mark-Anthony : This Silence, for octet
>Turnage, Mark-Anthony : True Life Stories, for solo piano
>Turnage, Mark-Anthony : Slide Stride, for piano & string quartet
>Turnage, Mark-Anthony : Baudelaire Songs (2), for soprano & 7 instruments
>Turnage, Mark-Anthony : Eulogy, for viola & 8 instruments
>Turnage, Mark-Anthony : Vocalises (2), for cello & piano
>Turnage, Mark-Anthony : Cantilena, for oboe & string quartet
Performers Ensemble Composer
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Notes & Reviews:

British composer Mark-Anthony Turnage is one of the most admired composers of his generation. His works skillfully blend classical and jazz idioms, modernism and tradition. Turnage was previously composer in association with the CBSO, English National Opera, the BBC SO and is now working with the London Philharmonic. He has collaborated with jazz musicians John Scofield and Peter Erskine and classical artists Evelyn Glennie, Christian Lindberg and Yuri Bashmet. This new Onyx Classics CD includes seven world premiere recordings of a wide range of chamber works written between 1992 and 2004.

BBC Music Magazine
What This Silence, the Baudelaire Songs and the Elegy for viola and seven instruments show is that Turnage is often at his strongest when he surrenders to his lyrical impulses. His melodic lines may be too edgily contemporary for nostalgic tastes - more Miles Davis than Elgar or Puccini - but they have a poignancy and beauty that can't fail to move unprejudiced ears. The Nash Ensemble's fine performances are all very sympathetically recorded...

Gramophone Classical Music Guide
Here's yet another disc from the Nash Ensemble devoted to the music of Mark-Anthony Turnage and it is, in a sense, the most representative because it gives a fine indication of his range. Favourites come from opposite tendencies.

Slide Stride (2002) is a noisily affirmative piano quintet based on James P Johnson's style of jazz piano and dedicated to Richard Rodney Bennett, whereas True Life Stories, unveiled as a group by Leif Ove Andsnes in 2000, are cool piano miniatures. As is usual with Turnage these days, not all the core material is new and the last in the sequence, the haunting tribute to To¯ru Takemitsu, cheekily reprises the final item on that Black Box anthology. Ian Brown plays it with more restraint and less pedal this time around - or it could be simply that the sound is not as resonant.

While Turnage demonstrates a continuing ability to straddle disparate musical worlds, his startling fluency begins to look as much a problem as an asset. In Two Baudelaire Songs (2004) he sets poems already transmogrified by Debussy and Henri Duparc. Only here L'invitation auvoyage is deconstructed rather than indulged, a peculiarly dissonant close undercutting the 'Luxe, calme et volupté' of the text. As miked, the soloist Sally Matthews is very much one of the band. Lawrence Power's viola seems rather forwardly placed in the autumnal Eulogy (2003), an immediately convincing composition that doesn't strive for novelty.

Turnage's world has dark, claustrophobic qualities, underlined here by the immediate, focused recording masterminded by Chris Craker. Barry Witherden's copious notes are helpful. Not perhaps a disc you would want to digest at one sitting though this generous selection of definitive performances is well worth sampling.



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Works Details

>Turnage, Mark-Anthony : This Silence, for octet
  • Ensemble: Nash Ensemble
  • Notes: Henry Wood Hall, London, England (10/24/2004-10/26/2004)
  • Running Time: 15 min. 35 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary
  • Written: 1992-1993

>Turnage, Mark-Anthony : True Life Stories, for solo piano
  • Performer: Ian Brown (Piano)
  • Notes: Henry Wood Hall, London, England (10/24/2004-10/26/2004)
  • Running Time: 12 min. 21 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary
  • Written: 1995-1999

>Turnage, Mark-Anthony : Slide Stride, for piano & string quartet
  • Performers: Ian Brown (Piano); Ben Nabarro (Violin); Lawrence Power (Viola); Marianne Thorsen (Violin); Paul Watkins (Cello)
  • Notes: Henry Wood Hall, London, England (10/24/2004-10/26/2004)
  • Running Time: 13 min. 3 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary
  • Written: 2002

>Turnage, Mark-Anthony : Baudelaire Songs (2), for soprano & 7 instruments
  • Performer: Sally Matthews (Soprano)
  • Ensemble: Nash Ensemble
  • Notes: Henry Wood Hall, London, England (10/24/2004-10/26/2004)
  • Running Time: 10 min. 26 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary
  • Written: 2004

>Turnage, Mark-Anthony : Eulogy, for viola & 8 instruments
  • Performer: Lawrence Power (Viola)
  • Ensemble: Nash Ensemble
  • Notes: Henry Wood Hall, London, England (10/24/2004-10/26/2004)
  • Running Time: 9 min. 59 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary
  • Written: 2003

>Turnage, Mark-Anthony : Vocalises (2), for cello & piano
  • Performers: Ian Brown (Piano); Paul Watkins (Cello)
  • Notes: Henry Wood Hall, London, England (10/24/2004-10/26/2004)
  • Running Time: 5 min. 40 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary
  • Written: 2002

>Turnage, Mark-Anthony : Cantilena, for oboe & string quartet
  • Performers: Gareth Hulse (Oboe); Ben Nabarro (Violin); Lawrence Power (Viola); Marianne Thorsen (Violin); Paul Watkins (Cello)
  • Notes: Henry Wood Hall, London, England (10/24/2004-10/26/2004)
  • Running Time: 10 min. 42 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary
  • Written: 2001