Mccartney, Rutter, Tavener, Bingham, D Matthews, R Panufnik, M Berkeley, Swayne, Bennett & Vaughan Williams

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COMPOSERS: Bennett & Vaughan Williams,Bingham,D Matthews,M Berkeley,Mccartney,R Panufnik,Rutter,Swayne,Tavener
ALBUM TITLE: Collection: A Garland for Linda
WORKS: Works
PERFORMER: Joyful Company of Singers/Peter Broadbent; Philippa Davies (flute), Robert Cohen (cello)
A Garland for Linda is a memorial for Linda McCartney, who died of cancer in April 1998. Seven pieces were written especially, with John Rutter and Giles Swayne submitting recent compositions and Vaughan Williams’s ‘Silence and Music’ added to preface the collection. The moods covered survey a range of possible reactions to death. Rutter’s contribution is a nostalgic, dreamy study for choir and flute, the sort of punting down the Cam (or Isis) on a summer afternoon sometime in the last century piece one might find on a TV documentary about Lewis Carroll; nostalgia is also the key note of Michael Berkeley and Richard Rodney Bennett’s offerings, the latter the more touching of the two. David Matthews is unique in using music to capture something of the vitality of its subject, and is most welcome for doing so. Elsewhere the dominant mood is mournful, never more so than in John Tavener’s setting from the Orthodox service of holy unction – the music being a bit heavy on the unction for my taste. If the pieces are not always groundbreaking, they clearly come from the heart and the cause – sales will raise money for cancer research – is one worth supporting. Christopher Wood