Metier MS 8536
Finnissy: Unknown Ground – Richard Jackson, New Music Players
Here is music by Michael Finnissy, all first recordings of major works. The album takes its name from the song cycle (published by Oxford University Press) setting words, arranged by Finnissy himself, from various individuals, relating their personal experiences of living in fear of AIDS – the ‘Unknown Ground’ – and superbly sung by Richard Jackson. The work is complemented by two chamber pieces, the first of which relates to Kant’s Kritik der Urteilskraft (Critique of Judgement). They are much more approachable than Finnissy’s reputation for ‘hard’ music might suggest: smooth textures, ethereal passages, and altogether works which are meant to reach deep into the psyche. The disc is an excellent introduction to the compositions of one of Britain’s most respected modern composers.
“Kritik der Urteilskraft is all restraint and fabulously beautiful long textures,.Unknown Ground is a moving setting, the emphasis always on the text Aprpos de Nice provides an often-jaunty contrast to the other two pieces. It is not easy music to get to know, but it is worth the effort. For those unfamiliar with [Finnissy’s] language, the disc is a good place to start.”
"... These fine, lucidly recorded performances have been worth the wait... "
Arnold Whittall - Tempo Vol 68 No 267 - January 2014
"... Michael Finnissy remains one of the most rewarding of composers in front of the public today. The sheer dedication of these performances, palpable throughout, seems to speak of the respect the performers have for him ... True, this is challenging music, but infinately rewarding... Recommeded ..."
Colin Clarke - Fanfare - September/October 2013