Amy Dickson: In Circles

Record and Artist Details

Composer or Director: William Barton, Ross Edwards, Emile Pessard, James MacMillan, Traditional, Peter Sculthorpe, (George) Percy (Aldridge) Grainger, Anonymous, Ralph Vaughan Williams, Manuel de Falla, Johannes Brahms

Genre:

Orchestral

Label: Sony Classical

Media Format: CD or Download

Mastering:

DDD

Catalogue Number: 19075 94469-2

19075 94469-2. Amy Dickson: In Circles

Tracks:

Composition Artist Credit
Yanada Amy Dickson
William Barton Composer
Ross Edwards Composer
Andalouse Amy Dickson
Emile Pessard Composer
Daniel de Borah
From Galloway Amy Dickson
James MacMillan Composer
Kalkadunga Yurdu Amy Dickson
William Barton Composer
She moved through the fair Amy Dickson
William Barton Composer
Traditional Composer
Djilile William Barton Composer
Peter Sculthorpe Composer
Amy Dickson
Shepherd's Hey Amy Dickson
(George) Percy (Aldridge) Grainger Composer
Discovery Anonymous Composer
Amy Dickson
(6) Studies in English folk song Ralph Vaughan Williams Composer
Daniel de Borah
Amy Dickson
(7) Canciones populares españolas Daniel de Borah
Amy Dickson
Manuel de Falla Composer
Saxophone Concerto Amy Dickson
Adelaide Symphony Orchestra
Nicholas Carter
James MacMillan Composer
(21) Hungarian Dances Daniel de Borah
Johannes Brahms Composer
Amy Dickson
(7) Canciones populares españolas Daniel de Borah
Amy Dickson
Manuel de Falla Composer
Amy Dickson’s recordings seem to fall into two categories: new music, with a focus on minimalists and composers from her native Australia, and programmes of lyrical miniatures. This release, which we’re told ‘celebrates the far-reaching influence of folk music’, gives us a little of both.

I find the saxophonist’s interpretations of the lyrical salon-like pieces oddly straitlaced and unrelentingly languid. Pessard’s sinuous Andalouse could be a lot sexier, for example, and Falla’s Jota is rhythmically square; both lack any feeling of spontaneity. She plays the Vaughan Williams folk-song studies ravishingly – her creamy tone is perfectly even through its range – but it’s under-inflected to the point of blandness. In piece after piece here, Dickson seems to be treating folk song as a holy relic, not as a living, breathing thing.

The new works are more satisfying. James MacMillan composed his Saxophone Concerto for Dickson and she plays it flawlessly – an especially impressive feat as it was recorded live. Wisely, perhaps, MacMillan gives the earthy writing to the string orchestra, leaving the saxophone to soar above. Members of the Adelaide Symphony provide solid support, and the audience is invisible until the end. Why Sony opted to include a good 30 seconds of applause and foot-stomping is perplexing, however. The ovation is well deserved, but the concerto is placed smack in the middle of the programme and the cheering spoils the mood.

To my ears, though, the actual star of this album is didgeridoo player and composer William Barton. In Sculthorpe’s Djilile, Barton provides an entire ensemble’s worth of sonorities, some percussive and some that even suggest electronics. And his own Kalkadunga Yurdu (‘Kalkadoon Man’) is the most experimental – and successfully realised – work here. The earthy intensity of his singing is spellbinding (listen starting around 3'45"), and provides an illuminating foil to the cool perfection of Dickson’s playing.

Gramophone Print

  • Print Edition

From £67/year

Subscribe

The Gramophone Digital Club

  • Digital Edition
  • Digital Archive
  • Reviews Database
  • Events & Offers

From £90/year

Subscribe

Gramophone Reviews

  • Reviews Database

From £67/year

Subscribe

Gramophone Digital Edition

  • Digital Edition
  • Digital Archive

From £67/year

Subscribe

If you are a library, university or other organisation that would be interested in an institutional subscription to Gramophone please click here for further information.