Piers Hellawell: Airs, Waters

With sources of inspiration ranging from the self-immolation of Czech student Jan Palač in January 1969 to the lost Etruscan language and the sculptures of abstract expressionist David Smith, the full breadth and depth of Hellawell’s compositional preoccupations are represented in authoritative performances by some of his closest collaborators.

Alongside chamber and solo piano works sits the clarinet concerto Agricolas, premiered at the 2008 Vale of Glamorgan Festival by soloist Robert Plane, who now commits it to disc as part of this diverse programme of premiere recordings.

"The performances do the music proud, not least the limpidly precise pianism of Mary Dullea and soulful clarinet-playing of Robert Plane, while the sound has a clarity and perspective equally evident in solo and chamber as in orchestral pieces"

"These six diverse pieces reveal the vividness of Hellawell’s ideas, the deftness of their execution and exploration, and his effective use of abrupt contrasts. Agricolas (2008) is a hugely attractive clarinet concerto...Robert Plane plays the solo part with a flair matched by Pierre-André Valade’s forces."

"The impressive range of Piers Hellawell's work is displayed on this collection...The orchestral piece "Degrees of Separation" is a fascinating study of initial momentum dissolving into musical entropy"

"this compendium of music by Ulster-based Piers Hellawell is a rich kaleidoscope of inspired creativity...Music well worth getting to know."

"The playing by the RTÉ NationalSymphony Orchestra is razor-sharp, and tightly controlled by Pierre-André Valade."


Producer: Paul Baxter
Physical format: Jewel case
Number of discs: 1
Number of tracks: 19
Total playing time: 1:13:39
Release date: 7 May 2012
Album ID: DCD34114

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