Maxwell Davies: Vesalii Icones; The Bairns of Brugh; Runes from a Holy Island

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COMPOSERS: Maxwell Davies
LABELS: Unicorn-Kanchana Souvenir
WORKS: Vesalii Icones; The Bairns of Brugh; Runes from a Holy Island
PERFORMER: Fires of London/Peter Maxwell Davies
CATALOGUE NO: UKCD 2068 ADD/DDD (1970/84)
Without its staged element – a dancer whose movements relate the drawings of Vesalius to the Stations of the Cross – Vesalii Icones sounds thin, its parodies and expressionist gestures second-hand Sixties ephemera; yet there is energy in it, however undisciplined. The Bairns, a small, lyrical chamber work, is more polished, but the Runes turn out to be five very forgettable miniatures. Immaculate sound. George Hall

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