Musgrave: BBC NOW CD released on Lyrita

Musgrave: BBC NOW CD released on Lyrita

This November, Lyrita Recorded Edition release their second CD of year celebrating the music of Thea Musgrave in her ninetieth year, Phoenix Rising [SRCD.372]. Recorded in January, William Boughton leads the BBC National Orchestra of Wales in a portrait disc containing three premiere commercial recordings.

Tuber player, Daniel Trodden takes on the role of the mysterious Loch Ness Monster in the light-hearted 2012 work Loch Ness. Subtitled ‘a postcard from Scotland’ the pictorial orchestral opener was originally commissioned by the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra and premiered by Donald Runnicles. This will be the first time to hear the work in the UK since then.

The disc’s titular work, which received a special performance at this year’s BBC Proms almost twenty years after the premiere, is an orchestral tone poem progressing from darkness (low and fast music) to light (high, slow and peaceful). The opening stormy violence, filled with lyrical and dramatic string writing leads to a terrain of emptiness and despair. The second half of the work in contrast builds to a romantic climax and a coda of serenity of peace as the phoenix rises; two harps set either side of the orchestra downstage gentle evoke the billowing wings as the Phoenix disappears into the distance.

Also joining these two late orchestral works by Musgrave is her Poets in Love for tenor, baritone and piano four hands. Seventeen poems spanning many centuries and languages give very varied views on the subject of love. Totaling around thirty minutes, each song – some solos, some duets – are sung without break. A rarely heard work due to its complexity, this CD offers a wonderful opportunity to hear it time and time again thanks to Nathan Vale (tenor), Simon Wallfisch (baritone) Simon Callaghan (piano, primo) and Hiroaki Takenouchi (piano, secondo).

Phoenix Rising [SRCD.372] will be available to purchase and steam on Spotify from November 1, 2018.

Mary, Queen of Scots Re-Released on Lyrita

On July 6, forty years after the premiere recording of Musgrave’s seminal opera Mary, Queen of Scots, Lyrita released a restored version. It was released on CD in 2002 on Novello Records but has been unavailable for years following its initial print run. Recorded in one take from a live performance at the Virginia Opera House in 1978, this cleaned-up version taken from the original master LP features stella performances from leads, Jake Gardener and Ashley Putnam. Available to purchase here and to stream online via Spotify.

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