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Heaventree Of Stars, Star Children, Doubles, Passagio
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Heaventree Of Stars, Star Children, Doubles, Passagio

16 May 2006 | Format: MP3

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Product details

  • Original Release Date: 1 Nov. 1996
  • Release Date: 16 May 2006
  • Label: Nimbus Records
  • Copyright: 1996 Nimbus Records
  • Total Length: 1:01:39
  • Genres:
  • ASIN: B001HD0PA4
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 480,585 in Albums (See Top 100 in Albums)

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Amazon.com: 1 review
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Mildly interesting music in generally good performances 28 Oct. 2009
By G.D. - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
The late Welsh composer Alun Hoddinott wrote a long series of orchestral works, many of them to some acclaim. His musical language is expressive, often but not slavishy following twelve-tone principles and reminding one often, perhaps, of Rawsthorne, but denser, more brooding and far more reliant on colors and expressivity than Rawsthorne's often black-and-white constructions. Unfortunately, if this disc is representative (I haven't heard much else) it often sounds pretty meandering, depressingly gloomy and as if it is frantically gesturing at nothing in particular, although with some fine things and good ideas thrown in intermittently. The 15 minute Passaggio, from 1977, for instance, isn't without merit, but it does feel like it just goes on and on far longer than its material can sustain. The Heaventree of Stars, for violin and orchestra features lots of percussion coloring and a wider palette and displays lots of romantic sensibility, but few memorable touches - it is, in fact, a rather dreary work, and not one I'll revisit. Things fortunately pick up with Doubles, for oboe, harpsichord and strings, which is rather inventive and interesting. The most recent work, Star Children, is also a worthwhile work if very far from being a masterpiece, inventively put together with some well-shaped climaxes. The performances sound good - the solo parts in the concertante works are, for instance, admirably done.

I have always had trouble with Nimbus's sound, and here again the climaxes are somewhat murky, the various instruments sound distant and not particularly well balanced. To sum up, then, I strongly suspect this disc is mainly for fans of the composer (among which I do not, after having heard the disc, count myself), and its shortcomings are not due to the performances, as far as I can tell. Still, it is a generally worthwhile acquisition, and I don't want to discourage the adventurous from picking it up.
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