Stephen Cleobury / Oliver Knussen / Lucy Shelton

Alexander Goehr: Sing, Ariel; The Mouse Metamorphosed into a Maid; The Death of Moses

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A central figure in the British avant-garde, Alexander Goehr founded the New Music Manchester Group with composers Peter Maxwell Davies and Harrison Birtwistle. Like his fellows, he has composed music that is challenging, theatrical, and startlingly original, regularly adapting elements of modal and tonal music into his sublimated serial language. However, Goehr's music is more abstract, gentle, and introspective than that of his peers, and the net effect of his works is one of glowing sonorities and delicate fragments that kaleidoscopically shift. This NMC reissue on the archival label Ancora presents three vocal works that represent the composer at his peak. Sing, Ariel is a quasi-dramatic interpretation of English texts drawn from 15 poets ranging from Campion to Auden. This shimmering song cycle receives a marvelous performance from soprano Lucy Shelton and fine ensemble playing directed by Oliver Knussen. Shelton also turns in an ethereal account of The Mouse Metamorphosed into a Maid, a setting for unaccompanied soprano of Marianne Moore's magical poem. The Death of Moses is a cantata in which Renaissance techniques are smoothly blended with modern devices. Stephen Cleobury leads an ensemble of vocalists, choirs, and instrumentalists to powerful effect in this tragic work, which in many places is evocative of the neo-Classical style of Stravinsky.

Track Listing - Disc 1

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
Sing, Ariel
1
4:22
2
0:14
3
0:41
4
1:54
5
0:27
6
1:30
7
0:19
8
0:53
9
2:29
10
3:27
11
0:42
12
2:28
13
2:18
14
0:55
15
1:19
16
0:16
17
0:12
18
0:17
19
3:56
20
6:21
21
5:44
22
0:55
23
3:12
24
1:04
25
1:05
26
1:29
27
2:59
28
13:30
blue highlight denotes track pick