Earth & Stars
Peter Wiegold’s first portrait disc features the plaintive, pastoral Earth, receive an honoured guest, for cor anglais and strings, inspired by WH Auden’s well known elegy for WB Yeats; tthe elemental Kalachakra for large ensemble, using Tibetan bells and brass, based on a Tibetan cosmology and meditation practice; and the bittersweet, Viennese Earth and Stars, commissioned for the 200th anniversary of Mozart’s death and featuring four harmonicas to represent an ancient funeral band, dug up from the soil by future generations. It is completed by Wiegold’s touching setting of Jo Shapcott’s poems, Les Roses.
Artists: Melinda Maxwell (cor anglais), Juliet Fraser (soprano), Martin Butler (piano,) notes inégales, South Bank Sinfonia , Peter Wiegold conductor
Composer, conductor, animateur, professor, Peter Wiegold has long been a vital contemporary-musical presence, and this disc is a fine showcase for his talent. Kalachakra, performed by his ensemble notes inegales, is a punchy and substantial, bitingly coloured movement founded on the arcana of Tibetan Buddhism.
The music has a visceral immediacy … Performances are unfailingly attuned to the music’s balance between precision and intuition.