The Shadow of Night is a slow nocturne, exploring the world of melancholy, inspired by the composer s life-long fascination with Dürer s engraving Melencolia I and Night s Black Bird (commissioned by the Roche Foundation) continues the with the same reflective musical imagery. The Cry of Anubis, part tuba concerto, part tone poem, grew out of Birtwistle s fascination with Anubis, the jackal-headed god of the necropolis in Egyptian mythology who played an important part in Birtwistle s surreal recent opera The Second Mrs Kong (1993-94). This is The Hallé s first recording for NMC. This collection of works by Harrison Birtwistle span a period of ten years (1994-2004). All are premiere recordings.
Birtwistle's most impressive orchestral canvas to date ... Birtwistle comes across as an old master. --Financial Times