Many of Barry Guy's fans might have no idea of his life in the classical music field. For years, before moving to Ireland, he served as double bassist in the City of London Sinfonia, as well as participating in various baroque music ensembles. After the Rain is a composition for string orchestra that relates strongly to many of Guy's works for the London Jazz Composers Orchestra, albeit without the improvisation; listeners familiar with that body of work might even recognize a theme or two. It's released here on a CD-Single, as a ten-movement work, and about 25 minutes long. Guy's essential romanticism, often heard in the anthemic portions of his large scale pieces, is clearly in evidence in several of the sections, with the strings taking on a striving, songlike quality. Although there are three "Refrain" movements which are harsh and storming, After the Rain is, in many ways, an "old-fashioned" piece of music, Guy wearing his lyrical predilections on his sleeve. This is all to the good, as he has the strength of his convictions and never descends to kitsch level, instead recalling the astringent beauty of Prokofiev or Barber. Indeed, some sections, like the "Antiphons," use microtones in a manner reminiscent of Penderecki's work from the '60s. Admirers of Guy's LJCO albums will certainly want to hear this one; it fits in comfortably with that extraordinary series. Recommended.
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AllMusic Review by Brian Olewnick