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This CD accompanies Simon Rattle's TV series and book, `Leaving Home', which explored the music of the twentieth century. There are two CDs; this is the first, featuring music from the episodes/chapters `Rhythm', `Three Journeys through Dark Landscapes', and `After the Wake'.

In the sleevenotes, David Gutman writes, "Leaving Home might be unsettling, but in opening up a world of new possibilities that sweep away or radically reinterpret the long-established notions of tonality, rhythm, form and sonority, it invites us to appreciate the diversity (and the difficulty) of twentieth-century music as positive and life-affirming."

The disc is full, with seventy-seven minutes of music, but most, if not all the thirteen tracks are extracts or excerpts. The composers featured are Stravinsky, Varese, Boulez, Mahler, Messiaen, Bartok, Shostakovich, Lutoslawski, Schoenberg, and Richard Strauss. In trying to cover such a vast topic, many are going to be left out, but I am surprised there is no Sibelius. And it is a shame that the Shostakovich example is from arguably the least accessible of his symphonies.

But the CD does what it says, introducing us to music we would not ordinarily hear, or choose to hear. Indeed, I am not sure I would want to hear another note of Varese or Messiaen again. But discs like this can also introduce you to such wonders as Bartok's `Bluebeard's Castle' and Boulez's `Rituel in memoriam Bruno Maderna'. Leaving Home can lead to some adventures!
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