This second volume of orchestral music by the English composer Steve Elcock (b. 1957), long since resident in France, brings three powerful works all with their origins in earlier pieces. Incubus examines the terrors of nightmare-riven sleep in a vigorous symphonic essay based on a movement from Elcock’s string quartet Night after Night. The impulse behind Haven, an expansive and surprisingly muscular fantasy, is the Sarabanda theme from Bach’s First Partita for solo violin. And Elcock’s Fifth Symphony takes its cue from the most famous of all Fifth Symphonies, re-examining Beethoven’s structural logic in Elcock’s own musical language to produce a volcanic new Fifth, its charge of wild energy husbanded to maximum dramatic effect.
Siberian Symphony Orchestra Andrey Lopatin, violin (Track 2) Grigorii Vever, clarinet (Track 5) Evgeny Plaksin, horn (Track 5) Dmitry Vasiliev, conductor
Haven: Fantasia on a Theme by J. S. Bach, Op. 4 (1995, rev. 2011–17) https://d3i77y9w5vf4up.cloudfront.net/TOCC0445/Track02.mp3
Symphony No. 5, Op. 21 (2014) https://d3i77y9w5vf4up.cloudfront.net/TOCC0445/Track03.mp3
Catalogue No: TOCC0445EAN/UPC: 5060113444455Release Date: 01.05.2020Composer: Steve Elcock Artists: Dmitry Vasilyev, Siberian Symphony Orchestra
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Paul Howarth :
This eagerly anticipated release of the second volume of Steve Elcock’s orchestral works does not disappoint. This is marvellous contemporary music and whilst challenging, it is nonetheless approachable, entirely logical and contains moments of transcendence which had this listener reaching for his handkerchief. I have not got my head around the first movement of the Fifth Symphony ( yet), but the insistent and melodic ostinato, the glorious slow movement and the exhilarating finale, leave one astonished at the quality of music on offer here. Does anyone write adagios like this anymore? Well yes. Steve Elcock does. It goes without saying that this release is a triumph and the shorter pieces, Incubus and Haven, merit the same attention as the symphony. With an extensive essay by Francis Pott on Steve Elcock’s symphonic composition in the accompanying booklet, and superb playing by the Siberian Symphony Orchestra under Dmitry Vasiliev, you have an essential purchase for anyone wishing to hear an original musical voice, and yet one firmly located in a Western classical tradition. Listening has been a privilege and my feelings on hearing these pieces for the first time, will remain with me.
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