A new portrait CD of the music of Stuart MacRae has been released on the NMC label (NMC D115). The disc features premiere recordings of four works written between 1999 and 2004. Prime among them is the Violin Concerto performed by Christian Tetzlaff and the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra under its chief conductor Ilan Volkov. The piece was an overnight success following its premiere at the 2001 Proms. It is accompanied by Stirling Choruses, MacRae’s portrait of the ‘dark and foreboding Stirling Castle’, performed by the BBC SSO’s brass section.
Two more recent works make up the disc, in performances by the Birmingham Contemporary Music Group conducted by Susanna Mälkki. MacRae describes Motus, a sextet, as a musical procession. Loré Lixenberg is the soloist in Two Scenes from the Death of Count Ugolino, a setting of two particularly gruesome sections from Dante’s Inferno.