Birtwistle: Slow Frieze/Antiphonies

METCD 1079 Birtwistle Front Cover

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Antiphonies (1992, rev. 2003)*

Nicolas Hodges, piano
WDR Sinfonieorchester Köln
Stefan Asbury, conductor

Slow Frieze (1996)†
Nicolas Hodges, piano
Birmingham Contemporary Music Group
Martyn Brabbins, conductor

Panic (1995)
Marcus Weiss, saxophone
Christian Dierstein, percussion
Windkraft Tirol
Kasper de Roo, conductor

Crowd (2005)†
Antonia Schreiber, harp

* first recording of revised version

† first recording, supervised by the composer

Metronome MET CD 1079

Harrison Birtwistle celebrated his 80th birthday in 2014, and has for many years been lauded as one of Britain’s greatest composers, perhaps the greatest since Purcell. This recording contains major works from the 1990s - AntiphoniesSlow Frieze and Panic - with Crowd, a solo harp work written in 2005, as an epilogue. My first performance of Antiphonies, with BBC Scottish SO and Martyn Brabbins in 1999, marked the first time Harry and I worked closely together. I had also heard the first performance of Slow Frieze, and it was clear to me that the two works should be presented together. Since these recordings were made, my working relationship with Harry has continued with the premieres of two new solo works, the Gigue Machine (2011), and Variations from the Golden Mountain (2014). The collaboration is, happily, ongoing.

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