Monday, November 18, 2019
The Deeper the Blue... Music by Vaughan Williams, Hesketh, Dutilleux, Ravel, Britten Sinfonia, Janet Sung, Simon Callaghan. Jac van Steen
Kenneth Hasketh (1968-) has the more High Modernist work of the five in "Inscription Transformation," which sounds well in this First Recording and gives some contrast to the four other works, all of which have a kind of vernacular quality to them and great individual charm, which "Inscription" has as well (charm) but in a bit more rugged a sense.
Vaughan Williams' "Concerto for Violin and String Orchestra" has a pronounced, patented VW folk tang and clearly rings out in this version so well that it reminds me all over again of how attractive a short work this one is!
Henri Dutileux's "Au gre des ondes" fares quite well in this arrangement for chamber orchestra by Hasketh. The melodic memorability grows on one and its enthusiastic performance by the Britten Sinfonia brings a smile to me as I hear it repeatedly. It is a first recording and well it is so.
Ravel's "Tzigane" is filled with exotic tonality and a beautiful interplay between violin and orchestra which Sung excels at and the orchestra does much to forward.
Finally Ravel's "Sonata for Violin and Piano" as played here by Sung and Callaghan reminds us how appealing and adventuresome this work in fact is. A high point is the middle "Blues" movement, which I must say nearly outdoes Gershwin for its proto-Third-Stream quality.
In the end one comes away refreshed, invigorated and fully enveloped in music we should know better. That Sung, Callaghan and the Britten Sinfonia under van Steen underscore the excitement and captivating qualities of these works makes this a very excellent foray into some lesser known but worthy 20th century gems and a High Modernist composer worthy of discovery. Huzzah! Viva Janet Sung!