This third release from Hebrides Ensemble’s acclaimed recording partnership with Delphian pays tribute to the remarkable musical and human achievements of Edinburgh-based composer Nigel Osborne with a collection of solo and ensemble works.
Adagio for Vedran Smailović – performed here by the Ensemble’s director, cellist William Conway – was written in Sarajevo in the winter of 1992–3; Osborne visited the city several times during the Bosnian war, a period recalled in the 2001 Hebrides Ensemble commission Balkan Dances and Laments.
In Sarajevo and Mostar, Osborne developed a practice of music therapy for children that he has subsequently taken toward zones in Africa and the Middle East. Music’s ability to cross boundaries – to bridge nations and continents, to bear witness and to heal – lies at the heart of this album, on which Hebrides Ensemble’s eloquent advocacy is supplemented by soundscapes and sung interludes featuring the voice of the composer himself.
Scottish New Music Awards 2020 shortlisted