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A new disc of instrumental works from the Master of the Queen’s Music, Sir Peter Maxwell Davies.
Linguae Ignis is an instrumental motet for cello and ensemble, and was premièred in 2002 by the forces that perform it on this disc. This beautiful, elegiac work sees Maxwell Davies entwining two Pentecostal Plainchants around each other, and gradually generating rich dance patterns, to which the solo cello responds with eloquent reserve.
Dating from much earlier, Vesalii Icones again has a strong rôle for solo cello, and also a solo dancer. It’s a set of fourteen dances, based on illustrations by Vesalius, that play out the Stations of the Cross in music of profound ritualistic expression. By contrast the Fantasia and Two Pavans provide a sardonic and provocative gloss on Purcell.
Peter Maxwell Davies: Linguae Ignis
Peter Maxwell Davies: Vesalii icones
I. The Agony in the Garden
II. The Betrayal of Judas
III. Christ and Pilate
IV. The Flagellation
V. Christ Condemned to Death
VI. The Mocking of Christ
VII. Christ Receives the Cross
VIII. St Veronica Wipes His Face
IX. Christ Prepared for Death
X. Christ Nailed to the Cross
XI. The Death of Christ
XII. The Descent from the Cross
XIII. The Entombment of Christ
XIV. The Resurrection - Antichrist
Peter Maxwell Davies: Fantasia on a Ground and 2 Pavans (after Purcell)
Pavan No. 1: Quite slow
Pavan No. 2: Quickly
30th July 2011
“palpable commitment and finesse.”
4th August 2011
“Vesalii Icones is one of Peter Maxwell Davies's supreme achievements.”
14th August 2011
“It is good to have this sensitive new, and affordable, recording of [Vesalii Icones], alive to its wealth of ironic nuance.”
“prepare to be dazzled, amused and bemused. From the tranquillity of the cello's plainsong in Linguae Ignis (a world premiere recording) to microtonal and prepared-piano jazz and blues in the Purcell tribute, scarcely a minute goes by without 'Max' surprising us...The Italian ensemble and especially solo cellist Vittorio Ceccanti bring the music prancing off the page.”