Jerwood Series Volume 5

Our rating 
5.0 out of 5 star rating 5.0

COMPOSERS: Hall,Meredith,Vine
LABELS: SINF
WORKS: Hall: Think About Space; Meredith: Axeman; Flak; Vine: Ocre Sscuro
PERFORMER: Nicholas Kok, John Orford, Ryan Wigglesworth; London Sinfonietta
CATALOGUE NO: CD1-2009

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This penultimate release in the London Sinfonietta’s excellent Jerwood Series features works drawing inspiration from beyond the normal Classical sphere, ‘crossover’ if you like, though certainly not in the way used by bean counters at major labels.

This is most obvious in Anna Meredith’s axeman, in which a single bassoon, aided by guitar pedals, makes a credible impression of a strutting rock-guitar solo. It is terrific fun, as reflected in the whoop of appreciation at the end of this performance, though it begs the question why not just have a guitar? Meredith’s other piece, flak, combines performers and electronics.

Its inspiration comes in part from dance music, though this is only obvious in the relentless final section. The rollicking violin part of Ian Vine’s wonderful ocre oscuro, magnificently played here by Clio Gould, opens the disc.

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It is soon adorned with rich layers, the title referring to the raw umber used as the initial layer of an oil painting. Emily Hall’s Think About Space uses laid-back guitar and melodeon with delay to build undulating cross-rhythms. Its quirky charms are hard to resist. Christopher Dingle