In 2016, Hebrides Ensemble were met with a torrent of praise for their debut release on Delphian — the premiere recording of James MacMillan‘s setting of the Resurrection story, Since it was the day of preparation….
Now, they turn their attention to another of their close Scottish contemporaries, the late Sir Peter Maxwell Davies, with whom the Ensemble worked closely over the last chapter of his life. It was for Hebrides Ensemble, founded by Conway in 1991, that Davies wrote several of the most impressive and personal works to arise from his late engagement with chamber music – a genre in which he had previously worked rarely, here revealed as the ‘last island’ of this remarkable and prolific composer’s output. On its second Delphian album, The Last Island, the Ensemble reciprocates Davies’s friendship with definitive performances of works from his last decade, including the single completed movement of a string quartet left unfinished at his death.
‘Played with the same questing energy that the Hebrides players bring to all these works, it’s a satisfyingly elusive adieu … a lifetime’s listening and working out — distilled; nothing wasted, plenty hinted at.’
— The Times, August 2017
The Last Island: chamber music by Peter Maxwell Davies is released on 18 August.