Maxwell Davies: Job

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3.0 out of 5 star rating 3.0

COMPOSERS: Maxwell Davies
LABELS: Collins
PERFORMER: Valdine Anderson (soprano), Linda Maguire (mezzo-soprano), Paul Moore (tenor), Kevin McMillan (baritone) Vancouver Bach Choir, CBC Vancouver Orchestra/Peter Maxwell Davies
When a number of Maxwell Davies’s finest works, especially from the Sixties and Seventies, remain unavailable commercially, the haste with which his most recent output appears on disc sometimes seems almost indecent. The oratorio Job was first performed in May 1997 in Vancouver and is now included in Collins’s Maxwell Davies series. Like so much of Davies’s music of the last decade, it is a superbly fluent, constantly developing piece, expertly tailored to the forces involved – four soloists, chorus, large orchestra. The point of departure is the Bible rather than William Blake, yet the music never quite climbs to the visionary heights the subject matter seems to demand; it gives the impression of a composer writing well within himself rather than taking any risks.