Chroma CD1 EMPTY FATHOMS (1998) - Alastair Stout
Empty Fathoms takes its inspiration from a passage of the poem Orfeo: A Masque by George Mackay Brown:
'The uncoiled line, baited, wandering deep. Orfeo and the fiddle and empty fathoms, Play a reel ,man'.
2-5 REFLECTIONS (1960) - Elizabeth Maconchy
The title is purposely ambiguous intending to suggest several possible meanings. There are four short contrasting movements which all reflect in various ways on the opening of the work. The ideas derive thematically from this opening material and they spring to a great extent from the individual character of the four instruments. Reflections was composed in 1960 to a commission from the BBC and was first performed by the Melos Ensemble at a BBC Invitation Concert in April 1961.
6-7 DOUBLE IMAGE (1999) - Diana Burrell
Double Image is a work of contrasts - bright melodies followed by dark, blurred sections, serene, unmoving harmonies matched with aggression. It is in two movements, and whilst each one is 'of itself', there is at the same time, a revisiting in the second of many of the ideas in the first. Thus the clipped rhythms from the energetic opening of the work are found again in a quite different context at the static opening to the second movement, and the turbulent piano semiquavers near the beginning appear much later - coloured differently in the lower reaches of the instrument where the piano's strings have been 'prepared'.
8 SYRINX (1912) - Claude Debussy
This miniature for solo flute is based on the legend of Pan and the water-nymph Syrinx. Syrinx rejects Pan's love and, fleeing from him, hides in the river rushes. Pan cuts and binds some rushes to make a set of pipes upon which he expresses his grief at losing his love.
9 SONATA AFTER SYRINX (1985) - Richard Rodney Bennett
Sonata in seven sections: Molto moderato, Presto (Scherzo 1), alla habanera, Cadenza (for viola and harp), Vivo (Scherzo 2), Poco adagio (solo harp), adagio. The Sonata was written for the Nash Ensemble, for their concert to mark the composer's 50th birthday, given at Wigmore Hall, London, in May 1986.
10 UNDERTOW (1999) - Tansy Davies
This piece is built around a two-part line that undergoes various liquid transformations. The material, seemingly propelled by its own momentum, is forced to accelerate, reverse and become suspended, meanwhile revisiting certain points of high energy, which cause stark shifts into other directions.
11 A SEA CHANGE (1988) - Anthony Payne
In recent years the tyranny of deadlines and a certain personal inclination have led me to avoid the use of pre-formulated systems for governing pitch, rhythm and structure. Time has just been too short, and the element of improvisation has come to the fore in the creative process. I have even begun pieces without knowing their ultimate destinations. A Sea-Change, for instance, was originally called Serenade, but I began to realise I was not writing the piece I thought I was. It was more like a little process of nature, whereby things grow and change without our noticing. Two main elements, the opening pizzicato figures and the sensuous harmonies that follow, grow and splinter as the work progresses. Subsequently, a wave-like texture accompanies capricious woodwind ideas, but returns later to underpin an entirely new melody - the same, yet different. After a pulsating chordal dance the piece ends as it began.
CHROMA (Sarah O'Flynn - flute, Emma Feilding - oboe, Stuart King - clarinet, Helen Cole - harp, Martin Cousin - piano, Marcus Barcham-Stevens - violin, Emily Davis - violin, Reiad Chibah - viola, Clare O'Connell - 'cello)
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