. . . if you don't like Birtwhistle, you will hate it !
I have noticed when reading serious music reviews that if the piece is well known and part of the general repertoire, then the reviewer tends to concentrate on the performance and recording, but where the music is relatively unknown, or it is the first recording, greater emphasis is put on a discussion of the relative merits of the piece itself. I have listened to quite a bit of Birtwhistle now - one piece that I have particularly come to love is 'The Triumph of Time' - another is his recent opera 'The Minotaur'. This recent offering is in a similar dark-hued, rugged form, which on first-hearing would be termed 'difficult' by many I'm sure. I find a bit of perseverance to familiarise oneself always pays off, as it does when listening to anything, and I now enjoy this music greatly. I cannot comment on the performance, not having any other versions to compare, but the recording and presence is excellent, and to anyone who feels like letting some quality modern serious music wash over their eardrums, I recommend this CD wholeheartedly