Ben Somewhen, a commissioned piece from BCMG for solo double bass and ensemble, received its premiere in April
2005. The work is inspired by the matchstick drawings of Ben Hartley depicting rural life; an example of his work appears
on the front cover of this disc.
Birmingham Contemporary Music Group & EXAUDI, James Weeks
This disc contrasts Skempton’s choral works—including the dancing, evocative setting of Shelley’s The Voice of the Spirits
and the spiritual Rise up, my love—with chamber music ranging from solo cello (the Suite from ‘Delicate’) to the
exuberant, yet very English, Chamber Concerto.
Usually despatched in 4 - 5 working days.
“Howard Skempton's music sounds deceptively easy. Openness to simplicity is one of the hardest qualities to nurture in music, and it is the heart and soul of Skempton's creativity. Exaudi is typically assured under the direction of James Weeks, masterfully pacing The Voice of the Spirits across its broad span. BCMG captures both the innate charm of the Clarinet Quintet and the diverse moods of the Chamber Concerto.”
“Thought of as a miniaturist, Howard Skempton has written many works whose impact is not necessarily in proportion to their length. Certainly the Chamber Concerto, its four movements seeming as if in dialogue with each other, and the Clarinet Quintet - moving deftly to its close in a Largo of bluesy pathos - are both typical in their intense economy. ...Ben Somewhen makes a double bass the bedrock of the ensemble in music as intriguingly elusive as is the collection of drawings by Ben Hartley that inspired it. Those new to Skempton may find the choral items even more enticing. Exaudi and BCMG are manifestly attuned to the idiom, and recorded with ideal clarity. Informative notes from James Weeks and the composer enhance a release that confirms Skempton's move to the centre of British new music as complete.”
Click on any of the works listed above for alternative recordings.