Music for Recorder, Harpsichord, Voice, Cello by Australian Women Composers
This is quite an eclectic disc which grows on you with repeated listening. It is by twists and turns an intimate disc of music but with some quite lively numbers by various Australian women composers who deserve a great voice in the Australian classical music scene. The first piece, Magpie Baby, I really enjoyed having had two boys and brought them up; it is a suite about childhood covering birth, the developing toddler through to Running Rampant. It a very characterful rendition of childhood and will put a smile on anyone who has had experienced the joys of bringing up children, as well as interacting with them. If this piece appeals to you then it would be worth searching out Edward Elgar’s Edwardian evocation of childhood, his Nursery Suite for orchestra which is not often performed these days, but has some lovely music.
Being a Bach fan I also enjoyed the second main offering of the disc, Re-inventions (based on two part inventions of JS Bach) by Elena Kats-Chernin. This is light touch Bach and one that, like this disc, pays repeated listening. Bach is a clever composer and Elena has really captured his twists and turns. There is some high spirited playing from Alicia Crossley on, I think, soprano recorder in the third re-invention (I would love to hear her playing Scarlatti who is also great for this instrument).
Two works by very similar named composers, Ann Carr-Boyd and Anne Boyd, round off this CD. Anything seems to go with the former’s ‘man is so proud‘ for voice and harpsichord. It is pity that the words of the poem, Trois Lecons, were not given in the CD. The last piece, Goldfish through summer rain, is an atmospheric piece and has distinct Japanese elements to it.
So who would this CD appeal to? I think more women than men – it’s an intimate disc, reflective, joyful, introspective. More for playing on your own, at home when in a contemplative mood. If you fancy extending your horizons and sound world then buy it – you’ll be rewarded.