Classical Editor: Rob Barnett                               Founder Len Mullenger:

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]
  AmazonUK   AmazonUS

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 e semplice.

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

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