COMPOSERS: Eleanor Alberga,Hilary Tann,Judith Weir,Melinda Maxwell,Odaline de La Martinez
LABELS: Lorelt Lontano
ALBUM TITLE: Collection: British Women Composers, Vol. 2
WORKS: Works by Odaline de la Martinez, Judith Weir, Melinda Maxwell, Hilary Tann, Eleanor Alberga
PERFORMER: Lontano/Odaline de la Martinez
CATALOGUE NO: LNT 103 DDD
Only gender connects the five composers brought together here, though there is a pervading blandness of style which makes for dogged, unrewarding listening. The blessed exception is Airs from Another Planet; any piece by Judith Weir is welcome on disc, and though this is not a major work, its neat, shadowy transcriptions of Scottish traditional forms and crystalline instrumental writing fall gratefully on the ear.
Melinda Maxwell’s solo-oboe Pibroch passes muster as an effective recital item, but de la Martinez’s Lorca settings Canciones use 20 minutes to say what could have been said in five. Hilary Tann’s Winter Sun, Summer Rain is an abstracted tone poem without colour or distinctive content. The suite from Eleanor Alberga’s dance score Dancing with the Shadow offers rhythmic flurries and precious little thematic substance. The sleeve notes do not give the composers’ dates of birth (except Weir’s) to place each piece in some kind of context. Such coyness seems curiously at odds with the positive discrimination implied by such an enterprise. Andrew Clements