A Land So Luminous: Music by Kenneth Hesketh & Richard Causton | Prima Facie PFCD051

A Land So Luminous: Music by Kenneth Hesketh & Richard Causton

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Label: Prima Facie

Cat No: PFCD051

Format: CD

Number of Discs: 1

Release Date: 9th September 2016

Contents

Artists

Continuum Ensemble
Mary Bevan (soprano)
Tamsin Waley-Cohen (violin)
Douglas Finch (piano)
Lisa Nelsen (flute)
Joseph Spooner (cello)

Conductor

Philip Headlam

Artists

Continuum Ensemble
Mary Bevan (soprano)
Tamsin Waley-Cohen (violin)
Douglas Finch (piano)
Lisa Nelsen (flute)
Joseph Spooner (cello)

Conductor

Philip Headlam

About

'A Land So Luminous' showcases the exceptional talent of these two British composers, Kenneth Hesketh and Richard Causton and is performed by the conductor Philip Headlam with The Continuum Ensemble and an outstanding array of soloists.

Kenneth Hesketh (b.1968) and Richard Causton (b.1971) are among the foremost UK composers of their generation. 'A Land So Luminous' features their works for large ensemble, duo and trio as well as solo flute, cello and piano. A strikingly diverse and atmospheric collection, the music draws imaginative inspiration from a rich range of sources including Heinrich Hoffman's nineteenth-century cautionary tales for children, Shock-Headed Peter, a poem by Marina Tsvetayeva, shamanic ritual, Fats Waller, as well as Mozart's Clarinet Concerto, K622.

Conductor Philip Headlam, long-time champion of these composers, sees 'A Land So Luminous' as an opportunity for Hesketh and Causton to gain recognition from audiences across the UK and beyond, and illustrate their outstanding creativity and craftsmanship.

Containing music never previously recorded, the acclaimed Continuum Ensemble is joined by a stellar line-up soloists: violinist Tamsin Waley-Cohen ('fearless intensity' - The Guardian), soprano Mary Bevan ('bewitching' - The Independent), flautist Lisa Nelsen ('a flautist and a half' - The Times), cellist Joseph Spooner ('tremendous musicianship' - Fanfare) and Douglas Finch ('a true virtuoso' - The Independent).

The Continuum Ensemble, led by co-artistic directors pianist/composer Douglas Finch and conductor Philip Headlam, is dedicated to performing new and neglected music from the 20th and 21st centuries in order to enrich audiences' knowledge and enjoyment of modern music. The ensemble has earned consistent praise for performances in concerts and operas, at festivals and for radio and television broadcasts as well as CD recordings including numerous world and UK premieres.

"Kenneth Hesketh composes music of delicate luminosity" - Fiona Maddocks, The Guardian

"Causton is among our most imaginative composers" - Paul Driver, The Sunday Times

"Extraordinarily committed, searingly communicative performances." - The Times

"Inspired, stylish performances...a bold, imaginative project, wonderfully well-realized." - The Guardian

Tracklisting:
1. A Land So Luminous
2. Der Struwwelpeter
3. Le Petit Prince et la rose
4. Die Geschichte vom Daumenlutsche
5. IMMH
6. Netsuke Statue
7. La Rose
8. Statue 11 The Owl
9. Threnody
10. Rituals of Hunting and Blooding 1
11. Rituals of Healing and Blooding 2
12. Non mi comporto male
13. Sleep
14. Night Piece

Reviews

The Continuum Ensemble, dedicated to new and neglected music from the 20th and 21st centuries, have split this programme between British composers Richard Causton (b1971) and Kenneth Hesketh (b1968). Their contrasting styles make the disc feel doubly worthwhile. Tamsin Waley-Cohen makes a persuasive case for the title work, an 11-minute piece for violin and piano (Aleksander Szram) by Hesketh, whose other featured works, Cautionary Tales, IMMH and Netsuke, delight in radiant harmonic colour and pithy, abstract narrative. Soprano Mary Bevan is the soloist in Caustonís powerfully sombre Threnody.  Fiona Maddocks
The Observer 16 October 2016

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