Monday, July 25, 2016
Harrison Birtwistle, Angel Fighter, In Broken Images, Virelai
All three works appear to be of recent origin, and all show a very personal mastery of the modern chamber orchestra and choral group. The music is singular, dynamic, dramatic, and very full of tone color, especially "In Broken Images."
"Angel Fighter" re-enacts the biblical story of Jacob and his battle with an angel. It has a sort of "post-Wozzeck" expressionism that builds upon declamatory gestures and fully modern soloist, choral, orchestral interactions.
"Virelai" is equally worthwhile, short and neo-classically poignant.
I am mightily impressed with the music and performances. It shows us a Birtwistle in the full modernist vigor of creativity, a composer of great originality and inventive brilliance.
Very highly recommended.