LABELS: London Sinfonietta
ALBUM TITLE: Cole, Foskett, Bedford
WORKS: Testament, Violin Concerto, Or Voit tout en Aventure
PERFORMER: Clio Gould (violin), Claire Booth (Soprano); London Sinfonietta/Oliver Knussen
CATALOGUE NO: SINF CD1 – 2007
Forty years on, the London Sinfonietta remains a band driven by curiosity, sustained by passion and taking all challenges in its virtuosic stride. It’s generous of spirit, too, championing music by young composers on its own label in an ongoing Jerwood Series which here reaches Vol.3. The oldest work dates back to 2004 and none of the composers are over 40. That’s a serious investment in the here and now. Jonathan Cole repays it with Testament, a piece in memory of conductor Oliver Knussen’s wife Sue – disclosing an almost boundless sense of space and a liberating weightlessness, until gravity exerts its pull as the music edges towards a chorale remembering Stravinsky remembering Debussy. Ben Foskett’s Violin Concerto keeps soloist Clio Gould on her persuasive toes pretty much throughout, – and increasingly so since the dynamic impetus intensifies steadily, the gestures becoming more incisive, the urgency palpable. Best of all is Luke Bedford’s setting of astonishingly pertinent medieval texts about the condition of music (avant-gardism to the nature of communication). A large, accordion-enriched ensemble weaves music of almost tactile immediacy around soprano Claire Booth’s voluptuously forthright delivery.