Finnissy: Lost Lands; Dilok; Delal; Kulamen Dilan; Moon’s Goin’ Down; Runnin’ Wild; Keroiylu

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5.0 out of 5 star rating 5.0

COMPOSERS: Finnissy
LABELS: Metier
WORKS: Lost Lands; Dilok; Delal; Kulamen Dilan; Moon’s Goin’ Down; Runnin’ Wild; Keroiylu
PERFORMER: Topologies; Christopher Redgate (oboe, oboe d’amore), Julian Warburton (percussion)
CATALOGUE NO: MSV CD 92050
This invaluable disc in Metier’s Finnissy series focuses on woodwind instruments, notably the oboe, or, to be more precise, the oboe as moulded, manipulated and cajoled by Christopher Redgate. All seven pieces take as their starting point aspects of musical cultures that Finnissy views as being threatened in some way. This is not too hard to grasp in the Azerbaijani echoes of Keroiylu or the Arabic-inspired trilogy of Dilok, Delal and Kulamen Dilan, the first two of which find Redgate’s open-throated sound wonderfully evocative of the Middle-Eastern antecedents of the oboe, with succinct percussion support from Julian Warburton. By contrast, it takes Finnissy’s insistence that jazz is ‘an emotional state rather than a harmonic/rhythmic proscription’ to unlock the more elusive notion that the freewheeling solo fantasias of Moon’s Goin’ Down and Runnin’ Wild are blues-inspired.

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The final third of the programme consists of Lost Lands, the chamber work from which the disc gets its title. Written for a motley quintet of soprano saxophone, E flat clarinet, violin, guitar and piano, it gradually takes the listener from an elongated, uneasy calm to freneticism and beyond. As with the rest of this disc, it is a compelling and rewarding journey. Christopher Dingle