Burgon: The Fall of Lucifer; The Fire of Heaven; Nearing the Upper Air; But Have Been Found Again

Our rating 
5.0 out of 5 star rating 5.0

COMPOSERS: Burgon
LABELS: Silva
WORKS: The Fall of Lucifer; The Fire of Heaven; Nearing the Upper Air; But Have Been Found Again
PERFORMER: James Bowman (countertenor), Rogers Covey-Crump (tenor), David Thomas (bass); Elysian Singers, Endymion Ensemble/Matthew Greenall, Geoffrey Burgon
CATALOGUE NO: SILKD 6002 DDD
It wasn’t until Geoffrey Burgon was well into his thirties that he won recognition as a composer, notably with his TVscore for Brideshead Revisited. This disc presents four vocal works written between 1972 and 1988. The main work is The Fall of Lucifer, a music drama in two scenes (heaven and hell) based on the Chester Mystery Play. David Thomas makes a convincingly threatening God, while James Bowman relishes the role of the scheming Lucifer, encouraged, no doubt, by Burgon’s suggestion that he should ‘indulge discreetly in some of the vocal excesses of Italian prima donnas’. Rogers Covey-Crump as Lightbone duets touchingly with Bowman (in hell). Nearing the Upper Air, a dramatic scena based on the Orpheus myth, was written in 1988 in memory of Alfred Deller. It provides Bowman with a wonderful vehicle for his unique burnished sound, dramatic imagination and moving musical intelligence. Burgon’s music is straightforward and unintimidating. His scoring for Nearing the Upper Air is typically Orphean – two flutes, cello and harpsichord – but it is very effective. The Endymion Ensemble and Elysian Singers are impressive. Annette Morreau

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