«Alexander Goehr: Since Brass Nor Stone»
Manere Op. 81,
Since Brass, nor Stone… Op. 80,
Largo Siciliano, Op. 91,
Clarinet Quintet, Op. 79,
…Around Stravinsky, Op. 72.
Colin Currie (Percussion).
Pavel Haas Quartet,
This recording features Goehr’s chamber music written between the years of 2002 and 2012, performed by the Nash Ensemble, the Pavel Haas Quartet (BBC New Generation Artists) and percussionist Colin Currie, all of whom have worked closely with the composer.
Since Brass nor Stone…, for percussion and string quartet, is inspired by Shakespeare’s 65th Sonnet: its opening bars play on the literal meaning of the sonnet’s first line, ‘Since brass, nor stone, nor earth, nor boundless sea’, featuring gong, stone drum, log drum and rainstick.
…around Stravinsky takes Stravinsky’s early Pastorale as a centrepiece, with Goehr’s Prelude and Rondo performed on either side, while the motet-like structure of the Clarinet Quintet is influenced by a Josquin des Prez mass. The duo for clarinet and violin, manere, is based on a medieval plainchant, built into a series of rhapsodic variations; and the most recent piece on this recording – Largo Siciliano, for horn, violin and piano – uses the dotted rhythm of the Baroque dance, taken through a series of transformations which explore the timbres of the three instruments before returning to the original stately Siciliano.