Debussy & Takemitsu for Strings | Linn CKD512

Debussy & Takemitsu for Strings

£12.30

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Label: Linn

Cat No: CKD512

Format: CD

Number of Discs: 1

Genre: Orchestral

Release Date: 24th June 2016

Contents

Works

Debussy, Claude

Children's Corner
» II Jimbo's lullaby (arr. James Manson)
Preludes (12), Book 1 (orch C Matthews)
» no.8 La fille aux cheveux de lin
String Quartet in G minor, op.10 (arr. Jonathan Morton)

Takemitsu, Toru

Film Scores (3) for Strings
» II Funeral Music (from Black Rain)
» I Music of Training and Rest (from Jose Torres)
Nostalghia for violin and string orchestra

Artists

Scottish Ensemble
Jonathan Morton (violin, director)

Works

Debussy, Claude

Children's Corner
» II Jimbo's lullaby (arr. James Manson)
Preludes (12), Book 1 (orch C Matthews)
» no.8 La fille aux cheveux de lin
String Quartet in G minor, op.10 (arr. Jonathan Morton)

Takemitsu, Toru

Film Scores (3) for Strings
» II Funeral Music (from Black Rain)
» I Music of Training and Rest (from Jose Torres)
Nostalghia for violin and string orchestra

Artists

Scottish Ensemble
Jonathan Morton (violin, director)

About

Fusing French and Japanese influences, the Scottish Ensemble’s new recording features works by Takemitsu and Debussy, two composers who share an instinctive feeling for instrumental colour and sensuous textures. The Scottish Ensemble’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 colours 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. The Scottish Ensemble combines the intimacy and unity of a string quartet with the force and power of an ensemble in this unique and beautiful recording.

Reviews

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. Most of the time it performs with two cellos and a double bass (though it bulked up a bit for this album) and 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, and that comes through in director Jonathan Morton’s charged and opulent arrangement of Debussy’s String Quartet. I miss the fragility and elusive shimmer of the original, whereas Colin Matthews’s arrangement of Debussy’s piano prelude The Girl with the Flaxen Hair is wonderfully hazy, subtle and indirect. Three short Takemitsu works complete the album, including his gushing 1980s Tarkovsky tribute Nostalghia – the word means a specifically Russian sort of homesickness – with Morton as rapt and eloquent soloist.  Kate Molleson
The Guardian 17 June 2016

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