Joby Talbot: Tide Harmonic CD
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Joby Talbot studied with Simon Bainbridge at the Guildhall and in 2004 was named Classic FM's first Composer in Residence. The 2008 dance collaboration, Eau, with Carolyn Carlson and the Orchestra National de Lille, later became Tide Harmonic, described by its composer as: ... a kind of water symphony that, rather than constructing a poetic or narrative programme inspired by man s relationship with water, instead focuses on the substance itself, the forces that act upon it, & the energy that flows through and from it . Talbot most recently worked with choreographer Christopher Wheeldon on Alice s Adventures In Wonderland for The Royal Ballet to very enthusiastic reviews. This is Signum s second disc of Talbot s work, and comes five years after Path of Miracles (SIGCD078) with the professional chamber choir Tenebrae, Nigel Short's exceptional ensemble.
Top Customer Reviews
Tide Harmonic is more complex and layered than the earlier work, with an aquatic theme. It is purely instrumental and although played by a small ensemble there seems quite a range of instruments in use. The tracks are long (up to 18 minutes) and do occasionally feel as if they are not quite developing - but then unexpectedly break out into moments of real beauty: there is some particularly gorgeous music in the last five minutes of "Dew Point" for example.
Sometimes the atmosphere created is not always pleasant and in some of the deeper parts of "Hadal Zone" it reminded me of Adam's "Guide to the Strange Places", which perhaps suggests the music is doing a good job at representing the alien-like qualities at the furthest parts of the ocean. I preferred the more peaceful tracks, and therefore "Storm Surge" is the one piece that failed to really work for me. At its best it feels like some of the less-repetitive work of Philip Glass (this is a compliment), and and with its sweeping harp can conjure up a vision of a world far beyond the shore or surface.
Definitely recommended if you're looking for atmospheric music that retains both melody and the occasional moment of unexpected menace.
In comparison, this is very disappointing, and often very boring. There are long passages of musical padding (Philip Glass meets Einaudi is being generous) where one is waiting for the monotony to be broken by a melody. The moments are few and far between. I've listened to it twice but it is destined for the charity shop.
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And what's not to love about science-themed music?