Philharmonia Orchestra / Andrew Powell

Full Circle

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The Full Circle title refers to the most distinctive aspect of this British crossover release: the music represents a compositional collaboration between two old acquaintances. Adrian Munsey and Andrew Powell, who knew each other as students at Cambridge University in the 1960s. Munsey has worked as a film and television producer, and as a composer on the side; Powell, in addition to composing, has conducted and worked with a range of musicians running from Pierre Boulez to Kate Bush. The music is as accessible, melodic, tonal, and sentimental as any lover of crossover music could demand, with a large excerpt from Pachelbel's Canon in D major in Reflection III (with Chacony), track 2, and the rather eerily mechanical voice of soprano Elin Manahan Thomas chiming in on several tracks. But there's an airy, unheavy quality to it that sets it apart from other releases of this type. Attractive too is the variety of work types, with even a poem setting in the Brythonic language (an early Celtic tongue) included. Think, perhaps, of Kate Bush being hired to score a lush romantic film and getting some big-time classical help. The primary audience will be among fans of the light music associated with Britain's Classic FM, but the music is well done within those parameters.

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