All the works on this recording have connections with the stage or theatre. The two suites are derived from scores that Maxwell Davies wrote for films by Ken Russell and could not be more different. The Boyfriend
, based on a 1954 musical by Sandy Wilson, introduces a large dance band and period motifs to great effect, while dramatic extremes depicting the film's themes of corruption, exorcism and execution within a medieval religious setting are explored in The Devils. Seven in Nomine
evokes Maxwell Davies' interest in medieval plainsong. The composer himself plays two of his most 8.572408 popular piano pieces with their memorable evocations of Orkney landmarks.
'There is an outstanding performance by Nicholas Cleobury's Aquarius ensemble of Max's dance band arrangement of The Boyfriend, packed with Charlestons, foxtrots and delicious music, spakling orchestrated, plus the composer's potent and threatening movie score for Russell's The Devils, the concentrated Seven in Nomine and, in another world altogether, his beautiful piano miniature Farewell To Stromness, played by the great man himself.' --Sunday Herald, 16/03/2014
'All these performances excel - and we also hear the composer playing two solo piano pieces from 'The Yellow Cake Revue'.' --BBC Music Magazine, June 2014