NMC NM 0164
Huw Watkins: In My Craft or Sullen Art – Mark Padmore, Elias String Quartet, Paul Watkins, The Nash Ensemble, Alina Ibragimova, Huw Watkins, piano
The centrepiece of this disc sets Dylan Thomas's defiant In my craft or sullen art for tenor and string quartet. Huw's brother Paul is soloist in the lyrical Sonata for Cello and Eight Instruments; while there are echoes of Britten and Berkeley in the beautifully wrought Three Auden Songs, sung by tenor Mark Padmore, accompanied by Huw Watkins on piano. Alina Ibragimova excels in the virtuosic Partita for solo violin, which Watkins describes as a 'very fast, relentless gigue’.
"...music with a depth of thought and subtlety of execution that continues to reward more deeply on each successive listening..."
Performance **** Recording ***
"...Lyricism flourishes, and tonal echoes are exposed alongside chromatic scrunches and abrasive textures ... a splendid portrait disc in NMC’s stand of debuts"
"...pungent and confrontational... In My Craft or Sullen Art, show Watkins’ rather Brittenesque approach to word setting; his instrumental writing is more immediate, more characterful, though"