Music of Memory

Our rating 
4.0 out of 5 star rating 4.0

COMPOSERS: Atkins,Bray & McCabe,Fricker,Maw,Northcott
LABELS: NMC
ALBUM TITLE: Music of Memory
WORKS: Various
PERFORMER: Antonis Hatzinikolaou (guitar)
CATALOGUE NO: NMCD184

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Though NMC usually concentrates on premiere recordings, Antonis Hatzinikolaou asked if he could include McCabe’s Canto, Northcott’s Fantasia and Maw’s Music of Memory. Analogue-era recordings of the first two are long deleted, and he believed he had something new to say about Maw’s striking composition, previously recorded by Marcin Dylla for Naxos. While Dylla’s reading was thoughtful and insightful, Hatzinikolaou brings a greater incisiveness to some sections, reinforced by a slightly brighter sound-ambience.

Adkins’s Indian Summer builds one meditative and two lively variations on a charming pastoral theme. Fricker’s Paseo takes a stately, somewhat strutting tune through a range of vividly-realised transformations, using atmospheric dampened effects along the way. Taylor’s Fantasy and Northcott’s Fantasia, both shot through with ringing, glittering textures, are impressively agile pieces, Northcott’s piece particularly challenging technically, without ever resorting to shallow tricks. Bray’s Passing Shadows (only three of its four movements are included) is a well-argued examination of melody and tone. McCabe’s Canto is dark and passionate in both texture and mood. Maw’s Little Suite, which concludes the disc, is rather severe yet accessible. All in all, a very engaging recital.

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Barry Witherden