John McLeod: Moments in Time

Increasingly acclaimed at home and abroad, Aberdeen-born John McLeod’s music bears all the hallmarks of exuberant colour and precisely imagined fantasy that his early associations with Lennox Berkeley and Witold Lutosławski would lead one to expect. Recorded during the composer’s eightieth birthday year and released to mark Red Note Ensemble’s new recording partnership with Delphian, this landmark collection brings together McLeod’s four mythological ‘songs’ – powerful dramatic scenes in which instruments are elevated to voice-like expression – and a further work which crystallises the theme of a single moment with a long expressive ‘shadow’.

The extraordinary chamber musicians gathered here, two of them Delphian solo artists of long standing, display unequalled virtuosity and passion on a disc which is sure to confirm Red Note as among the UK’s premier contemporary music ensembles.

"Here we have five bold and bright chamber pieces, chiefly inspired by mythologies from the ancient world…the members of Red Note Ensemble, superb Scottish specialists in the contemporary, deliver every piece with precision and relish"

"Combative and assured playing by the Scottish contemporary music band Red Note Ensemble."

"This music, in turn dramatic, serene and — in The Song of Phryne — thoroughly erotic, is brilliantly performed"

"Violent and fragmented, the first movement [of Moments in Time] is uncomfortably visceral, before giving way to a calmly beautiful threnody, tastefully played by Red Note Ensemble. The rest of the disc is taken up with a survey of the 81-year-old composer’s four testingly virtuosic “songs”."

"Not the easiest listening experience you’ll have this year, but one that’s rewarding on two levels: for coming afresh to McLeod’s tribute to Messiaen’s Quartet For The End Of Time, and for the dedicated playing by Red Note Ensemble, who find war and peace in the music’s moments of violence and calm."

"This is a most impressive disc of some haunting music, a combination of a deep imagination and profoundly musical creative art. Very strongly recommended."

"Red Note Ensemble play with consummate skill, athletically alert to McLeod’s quicksilver turns of phrase."

Producer: Paul Baxter
Recording venue(s): St Mary’s Parish Church, Whitekirk, East Lothian
Recording dates: 10-12 December 2014
Physical format: Jewel case
Number of discs: 1
Number of tracks: 6
Total playing time: 0:59:14
Release date: 1 June 2015
Album ID: DCD34155

Album Booklet

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