WORKS: Fifty Shades of Green; Chapman’s Pool; Shelley Dreams; My Father’s Arms; See and Keep Silent; The Cathedral of Trees; The Moon over Westminster Cathedral etc
PERFORMER: Yeree Suh (soprano); Chamber Domaine
CATALOGUE NO: RES10102
Resonus Classics launched itself a few months back with a world premiere recording rooted in 1825. Now, hot on the heels of the original version of the Mendelssohn Octet, comes an enterprising all-world-premieres release rather closer to our 21st-century home. Landscapes Real and Imagined maps the chamber music of Judith Bingham from the 1997 piano trio Chapman’s Pool, a seascape-cum-psychological journey, to three meditations for solo cello culled from the recent See and Keep Silent, eloquently played by Adrian Bradbury.
Sometimes the idea of a piece is more compelling than its actuality over all – The Moon over Westminster Cathedral is a case in point, but there’s no doubting the potent imaginings at work elsewhere. In the string trio-accompanied song cycle My Father’s Arms, terse settings of poems about children caught up in war exude the edginess of music peering over its shoulders for fear of snipers, while soprano Yeree Suh is alive to the wild despair and gnawing darkness of The Shadow Side of Joy Finzi.
The sea-like motions of Chapman’s Pool sometimes finds Chamber Domaine beached on terra firma, but the luminous eruptions of the finale are among the highlights here. The didgeridoo-flavoured piano quartet movement The Mystery of Boranup, and the miniatures of Shelley Dreams are also well worth exploring. Paul Riley