Chineke! Orchestra

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The Chineke! Orchestra has made a splash in the UK and beyond with its all Afro-British lineup, including one of the fabulous Kanneh-Mason siblings. It seemed a natural move to record works by composers who were Afro-British as well, and the results are satisfying, with lively performances throughout. Much of the music will be unfamiliar to non-British audiences and is likely to stimulate further investigation. The opening attraction, the Concerto Grosso of Errollyn Wallen, gets a fine, sprightly performance, and may well be the strongest work here: it falls squarely into the French-Stravinskian tradition but has a personality of its own. Most of the music avoids African American influences, and where they are present, as in Julian Joseph's Carry That Sound, they are subtly incorporated. Daniel Kidane's Dream Song has a text from the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., but Hannah Kendall's piece, which gives the album its title, is inspired wordlessly by a poem of Lemn Sissay, the official poet of the 2012 London Olympics, and is perhaps the more memorable work. The Chineke! take to some works more than others, but on balance, they handle a diversity of material at a very high musical level.

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