Since Westminster Mass (2000) established Roxanna Panufnik’s firm place among today’sleading British composers, she has often been celebrated for her choral music. Her instrumental and chamber works, however, are equally striking, filled with dazzling imagination and poetic lightness of touch. Her latest album Heartfelt encompasses compassion, tragedy and irresistible humour, while demonstrating her passion for exploring diverse musical cultures, from East Sussex to Myanmar.
Rod Modell is a sound designer / electronic music producer from the Detroit area. He began producing music in the mid-80's using analog synthesizers and drum machines. Rod's work was focused on electro-acoustic experimentation in the early years, making musique concrète compositions with a 4-track cassette machine and field recordings, then branching into industrial soundscape work. More recent recordings utilize more structure and beats, but still retain the atmospherics that Modell is known for. Mood is of paramount importance in a Rod Modell recording (often created with field recordings). Sadly, this element seems to be lost in much of the "clicks & cuts" DSP music of today. One of Modell's favorite pastimes is making middle-of-the-night recordings with his portable DAT machine and dummy-head microphone…
Just ten or fifteen years ago, the idea that two pieces might be enough to fill an album of Howard Skemptons music would have seemed astonishing, but here are two works, each over 30 minutes long. Skempton takes on Coleridge's epic poem The Rime of the Ancient Mariner, and presents it sparsely for solo baritone (Roderick Williams) and small chamber ensemble (BCMG).
This album of Sir Harrison Birtwistle’s chamber music and songs, mostly of recent vintage, is issued as the innovative Great British composer approaches his 80th birthday. It features an exceptional cast. Heard together and separately is the trio of Austrian pianist Till Fellner, Georgian violinist Lisa Batiashvili and English cellist Adrian Brendel. They are joined by London-born singers Amy Freston and Roderick Williams.