Relive: Live orchestral works that capture a time and place
Jane O'Leary, Peter Dickson Lopez, Corrina Bonshek
The works on this new Navona selection of live recordings are from three different decades. American composer Peter Dickson Lopez’s The Ship of Death is a polyglot, mid-1970s electroacoustic setting of a DH Lawrence poem for male voice and chamber orchestra. The best moments in the excerpts here – around half the music from the 1983 LP issue – are the ghostly electronic effects from singer Thomas Buckner with the Arch Ensemble for Experimental Music under Robert Hughes.
American-born long-time Irish resident Jane O’Leary’s From Sea-Grey Shores is from 1999, and was inspired by the west coast of Ireland: “The spaciousness of the sky... the fluid movements of the sea”. For such an outdoor piece, the sounds from the RTÉ NSO under Gavin Maloney are often compressed.
Dreams of the Earth by Australian composer Corrina Bonshek, who was born in 1977, is for strings (Ady Ensemble under Adrian Head) and was “inspired by the sight of a swirling flock of birds circling in the sky, the rising/falling swells of cicada song in summer, and ecological concerns about our changing climate”.
Its pared-back language and gentle, reflective motion somehow leave a more solid impression than the other works.