NMC NM 0191
Phibbs: The Canticle of the Rose – Helen-Jane Howells, Navarra String Quartet, Alissa Firsova (piano)
This recording in NMC’s Debut Disc series showcases Joseph Phibbs’s writing for voice and chamber groups. The Canticle of the Rose, the centrepiece of the recording, sets a series of poems by Edith Sitwell for soprano and string quartet, ranging from the foreboding to the frivolous; it is one of a series of works for voice with string quartet, commissioned by Sir Nicholas Goodison.
Also on this download is From Shore to Shore which combines countertenor with guitar. It was commissioned by the guitarist James Boyd, with support from the Arts Council National Lottery Fund, to broaden the contemporary repertoire for voice and guitar. Premiered at Aldeburgh in 2012, it sets a series of old and new poems on the subject of the sea. Contrasting with these vocal works are Flex – a vivid work for piano, flute, violin, and cello – and the short, frenetic string quartet AGEA.
Performance **** Recording ****
"... another welcome instalment in NMC’s excellent Debut Discs series..."
Christopher Dingle - BBC Music magzine - September 2013