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NM 0156
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NM 0156

Harrison Birtwistle - Night's Black Bird

The Classical Shop
release date: June 2011


Artists:

The Hallé


Ryan Wigglesworth


Owen Slade

tuba

Venue:

Studio 7, New Broadcasting House, Manchester

17-19 July 2010

Producer:

Andrew Keener



Engineer:

Simon Eadon



Record Label
NMC

Genre:

Orchestral & Concertos


Contemporary

Total Time - 55:43
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Select Complete Single Disc for
 

HARRISON BIRTWISTLE

   
1 

Night's Black Bird

14:04
   
2 

The Shadow of Night

28:15
   
3 

The Cry of Anubis

13:24
 Owen Slade tuba
   

Birtwistle: Night’s Black Bird; The Shadow of Night; The Cry of Anubis – Owen Slade (tuba), The Hallé, Ryan Wigglesworth

This collection of premiere recordings of orchestral works by Sir Harrison Birtwistle spans a period of ten years, from 1994 to 2004.

The works move away from the composer’s forceful and monolithic grandeur, with which he has become associated, towards a more reflective, otherworldly, and subtle sound, exploring the atmosphere of melancholy. The Shadow of Night is a slow, melancholy nocturne inspired by the composer’s life-long fascination with Dürer’s engraving Melencolia I, and Night’s Black Bird – commissioned by the Roche Foundation – continues with the same reflective musical imagery. The Cry of Anubis, part tuba concerto, part tone poem, grew out of Birtwistle’s fascination with Anubis, the jackal-headed god of the necropolis in Egyptian mythology, who played an important part in Birtwistle’s surreal opera The Second Mrs Kong (1993 – 94).



"...If i were going to recommend an introduction to Birtwistl’s work to a new listner, I believe I would now pick this CD. The score are wonderfully evocative, and full of event to keep the new listner engaged while assimilating the language. The performances are beyond praise ...The sound is both substantial and translucent, with huge impact where needed. ... This is  first-class release of three essential contemporary works."

Ronald E Grames - Fanfare - May/June 2012


"...The program is beautifully played and recorded. Birtwistle fans ... will surely enjoy this."

Gimbel - American Record Guide - January-February 2012


Winner of the Contemporary category in the 2011 Gramophone awards 2011


"...In a welcome if rare excursion into contemporary music, and recorded with tinglingly immediate atmosphere, the Hallé under Ryan Wigglesworth sound on top form throughout."

Arnold Whittall - Gramophone magazine - October 2011


                          Performance *****           Recording ****

"...an essential release."

 

Martin Cotton - BBC Music Magazine - September 2011


"...Ryan Wigglesworth’s performances with the Hallé are quite superb, with the intricacies of Birtwhistle’s instrumental writing always perfectly clear ..."   *****

Andrew Clements - The Guardian - 19 May 2011


"...Owen Slade’s tuba playing is superbly expressive and deeply sonorous in The Cry of Anubis, and The Hallé and Ryan Wigglesworth do a cracking job with each of these magnificent but demanding scores. The sound engineering is also a remarkable achievement, creating a big sonic canvas while managing to capture plenty of detail at the same time. The distinctive cover art is by Adam Birtwistle, and plaudits go to the NMC label for their fulsome booklet content."
 
Dominy Clements - musicweb-international.com - July 2011

 


"... The sound is spacious, with no lack of impact in densly scored pasages ... A disc worth aquiring by Birtwistle sceptics and a mandatory purchase for admirers."

Richard Whitehouse - International Record Review - July/August 2011





*****
From the moment i first heard the piece Night's Black Bird on iTunes i knew i had to buy it. This is a very interesting work, full darkness and drama. The piece Night's Black Bird is for me the highlight in this recording. The piece The shadow of night is number two for me and at third place The cry for Anubis. The recording is very well made and matches the work very well. The performance is of high quality. I can really recommend this recording for those who want to explore well made and dramatic contemporary classical music without just getting a work that is full of sounds and no story.
P Nilsson