Cello Sonata No.1; Angel; Lumen Christi; A Cecilian
Variation; Fourteen Little Pictures; Kiss on Wood
Raphael Wallfisch (cello)
John York (piano)
The Nash Ensemble
Black Box BBM1008 [63.00]
A happily chosen, and well-balanced, collection of Macmillan's chamber music
of 1993-99. The cello sonata is a major work (22 mins), its transparent and
relatively simple beginning belying the emotional force of later developments.
The Fourteen Little Pictures play continuously, the instrumentalists
of the piano trio (Ian Brown, Marianne Thorsen & Paul Watkins) being
featured in most possible combinations and traversing wide variations of
mood, with a climax towards the end ffff, desolato, martellato, feroce
leading eventually to a consoling postlude teneroso, delicato, lontano
Macmillan always contrives to make his music 'accessible' and these works
deserve to achieve established places in recital repertoires and would receive
positive responses from even the most conservative chamber music audiences.
The disc is completed by several shorter pieces and the whole is vividly
played and well recorded with presence and full dynamic range.
Peter Grahame Woolf