CD: Anderson: Alhambra Fantasy; Khorovod; The Stations of the Sun, etc

(Ondine)

The most recent of these recordings is already five years old - the disc was gathering dust on the shelves of another major label before Ondine snapped it up - but the collection has been well worth waiting for. It takes in just over a decade of Julian Anderson's development, from the 1990 Diptych, composed while he was still studying at Cambridge, to the dazzling Alhambra Fantasy, first performed by the London Sinfonietta in 2001. The pungent, punchy Khorovod, another Sinfonietta commission, from 1994, was Anderson's breakthrough piece, while both the 1998 Stations of the Sun and the deeply personal elegy The Crazed Moon, completed a year earlier, show how quickly and confidently Anderson took up the formal and technical challenges of writing for a large orchestra.

Every piece here completely inhabits its own expressive world, and all the performances, conducted by Oliver Knussen, are crammed with the rhythmic and textural details that give Anderson's music its special appeal.

Contributor

Andrew Clements

The GuardianTramp

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