Harvey – Body Mandala (NMC)
Anu Komsi (sop); BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra / Ilan Volkov
“There is so much to praise about the works on this CD that it’s hard to know where to begin,” wrote Fabrice Fitch of Jonathan Harvey’s new disc of orchestral music. Partially the fruit of a successful residency with the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, the album spans several decades, and like much of the composer’s oeuvre, explores different aspects of spirituality. Despite, at times, a “breathtaking” virtuosity of orchestration, “it is virtuosity in the service of deeply intelligent musical argument; there’s nothing merely flashy or self-serving”. Not to be forgotten are the first-rate performers – soprano Anu Komsi, who lends a voice of great beauty to White as Jasmine, and the BBC Scottish Symphony conducted by Ilan Volkov and Stefan Solyom – all of whom “deserve equal credit for their involvement in a richly rewarding project”.