One of the most grown-up review sites around

50,000 reviews
and more.. and still writing ...

Search MusicWeb Here



International mailing

  Founder: Len Mullenger             Senior Editor: John Quinn               Contact Seen and Heard here  

Some items
to consider


A most rewarding CD
Renate Eggebrecht violin


Nick Barnard review
Michael Cookson review

Acte Prealable returns
with New Releases

Anderson Choral music

colourful and intriguing

Pekarsky Percussion Ensemble

one of Berlioz greatest works

Rebecca Clarke Frank Bridge
High-octane performances

An attractive Debussy package

immaculate Baiba Skride

eloquent Cello Concerto

tension-filled work

well crafted and intense

another entertaining volume

reeking of cordite

Pappano with a strong cast

imaginatively constructed quartets

the air from another planet

vibrantly sung

NOT a budget performance

very attractive and interesting

finesse and stylistic assurance

Support us financially by purchasing this from

Stratis MINAKAKIS (b. 1979)
Crossings Cycle (2015/2017) [20:43]
Gregory W. BROWN (b. 1975)
un/bodying/s (2017) [32:22]
The Crossing / Donald Nally
rec. 2017, St David’s Episcopal Church, Wayne, USA
INNOVA 998 [53:08]

This is a recording which has both a sublime beauty and a deeply confrontational aspect in its content. Stratis Minakakis’s Crossings Cycle consists of two sets of texts settings. Crossings Epigrams uses the words of Homer, Sophocles and Euripides in the original Greek to create “an elegy on things irretrievably lost.” Human dramas woven into mythological tales are transformed into moments of music that focus and heighten their tragic nature, such as “the moment where Odysseus tries to grasp the fleeting vision of his mother, which escapes like a ‘shadow’ or a ‘dream’.” There is a dream-like, sometimes nightmarish feel to this magnifying of emotional states, the voices drooping shapes repeating a piling-on the grief right up to “Hecuba’s lament over the fall of Troy,” with which the cycle concludes. There is a crossing over between the themes of Crossings Epigrams and Crossings, that takes words from T.S Eliot’s ‘The Waste Land’ to turn our minds to the plight of refugees from Syria and their struggles to reach the shores of Greece in entirely unsuitable and over-loaded craft. There is a subdued violence here, shrouded in ghostly and sparing phonetic stretching and layering of just a few words, but very few words are needed to convey the ‘painful relevance’ of these extreme circumstances: “if there were water and no rock…”

un/bodying/s is composed by Gregory W. Brown in a less avant-garde idiom, his subject of “an avalanche of culture enveloping a landscape” using poetry by Todd Hearon introducing harmonies and rhythmic gestures that have a comparatively romantic feel. Brown starts his booklet note on the piece with an outline of the creation of the Quabbin Reservoir in western Massachusetts. A valley with four entire towns was submerged in the process, and the four settings involve themes of displacement, the imaginary utopia of submerged Atlantis, and the symbolism of water’s cycle and society’s insatiable demand for its use. un/bodying/s is eclectic in its drawing on a variety of styles, from close-harmonies and atmospheric clustering of notes to unison and folk-music like passages, simpler two-part writing that always develops into something more sophisticated, moments of monastic quasi-religious luminosity and tonalities that are ever-restless, seeking but never quite finding resolution like the words they express. Brown’s word setting is highly effective as is the neatly articulated delivery of its performance here, but as ever it is truly valuable to have the texts printed in the booklet as they are here.

Vocal ensemble The Crossing has 24 voices, but with a keen ear for dynamic layering and balance the group always keeps a feel of transparent intimacy, helped by a superb recording that spreads the voices very nicely over the stereo mix, but also keeps a concert-hall perspective: not too close, and making good use of the acoustic. This excellent programme is well worth your time and careful consideration.

Dominy Clements


We are currently offering in excess of 50,400 reviews

Advertising on

Donate and keep us afloat


New Releases

Naxos Classical

Nimbus Podcast

Obtain 10% discount

Special offer 50% off
15CDs £83 incl. postage

Musicweb sells the following labels
Acte Préalable
(THE Polish label)
Altus 10% off
Atoll 10% off
CRD 10% off
Hallé 10% off
Lyrita 10% off
Nimbus 10% off
Nimbus Alliance
Prima voce 10% off
Red Priest 10% off
Retrospective 10% off
Saydisc 10% off
Sterling 10% off

Follow us on Twitter

Subscribe to our free weekly review listing

Sample: See what you will get

Editorial Board
MusicWeb International
Founding Editor
Rob Barnett
Senior Editor
John Quinn
Seen & Heard
Editor Emeritus
   Bill Kenny
Editor in Chief
MusicWeb Webmaster
   David Barker
MusicWeb Founder
   Len Mullenger