Brian Elias: The House that Jack Built; A Talisman; Doubles – BBC Symphony Orchestra, Sir Andrew Davis, Martyn Brabbins, Jiri; Belohlávek
The bold and dazzlingly inventive The House that Jack Built – inspired by the rumbustiousness, games, and jeers of the playground – is joined with the elaborate, intense Doubles, a large orchestral work commissioned by the BBC Symphony Orchestra; the recording is completed with A Talisman, for bass-baritone and small orchestra, based upon a Hebrew text inscribed on a nineteenth-century silver amulet intended to protect against the Evil Eye. It was given to Elias’s mother in 1969 by her uncle, whose family had emigrated from Kurdistan to Bombay in the middle of the nineteenth century.
"Purely as psychodrama, The House is gripping. But what makes it memorable is the clarity and vigour of Elias’s orchestral writing. Humming throughout with perky rhythms, never cluttered, and full of imaginative ideas (including the 21st-century equivalent of the Pizzicato Polka), it struck me as among the best things that the 53-year old composer has penned." - The Times 2002