Stunning music and extraordinary playing

Stunning music and extraordinary playing

 

The Observer, Edward Bhesania

One of the Manchester group from the fifties, along with Peter Maxwell Davies, Birtwistle had an inclination toward the theatrical that pre-empted his spell as the National Theatre’s director of music in the Seventies and Eighties. The contrast in activity between the sparse, Sati-esque Berceuse de Jeanne for solo piano, and the manic chattering across two flutes and trumpet in Hoquetus Petrus is striking, yet there’s a thoroughly original face to each of the pieces here – spanning 40 years – and a natural, even warm disposition to the instrumentation.

The young Galliard Ensemble’s performances are revelatory. Stunning music and extraordinary playing.