Thomas, Horne, Trainer, Hind, Goves, T Davies, L Bedford, etc

Our rating 
4.0 out of 5 star rating 4.0

COMPOSERS: etc,Goves,Hind,Horne,L Bedford,T Davies,Thomas,Trainer
ALBUM TITLE: Collection: Live from State of the Nation 2001
WORKS: Rolf Hind (piano); London Sinfonietta/Pierre-André Valade
PERFORMER: Rolf Hind (piano); London Sinfonietta/Pierre-André Valade
The State of the Nation? The range of styles and musical philosophies embraced by today’s young British composers is far broader than this selection from the 2001 South Bank ‘State of the Nation’ weekend suggests. With a few striking exceptions (eg Rolf Hind, Richard Ayres), most of these pieces have an umbilical chord attached to what one has to call ‘old-fashioned modernism’. But although some of it is opaque, however well crafted, there are encouraging things too. Tansy Davies’s Small Black Stone, which she rightly describes as ‘jagged’, leaves a strong aftertaste. Fraser Trainer’s The Colour of Scars turns out to be much more upbeat and appealing than his one-word summary ‘viral’ promises. And then there’s Hind’s enigmatically simple Solgata and Ayres’s hilarious and refreshingly extrovert No. 24 Noncerto – the work I most look forward to hearing again. Performances all sound polished and confident, and the recordings (originally made for Radio 3’s Hear and Now programme) are clear and well balanced. A partial view of our nation’s contemporary music-making, but well worth sampling. Stephen Johnson