Music For my Love Vol 2
I detailed the genesis of this extraordinary series for string orchestra – inspired not by some European aristocrat or royal, but a humble Eritrean expatriate, Yodit Tekle – when reviewing Vol 1 (1/17). A further disc-and-a-half is already in the can, and the number of composers who have responded to the call has risen to over 100; simply astonishing.
If anything, the standard of invention here is higher than on its wonderful predecessor. David Matthews’s A June Song (since reworked into his Ninth Symphony) and John Kinsella’s Song for Yodit are the most sheerly beautiful, though Ronald Corp’s The Wings of Memory, imagining ‘her soul on its journey accompanied by a crowd of angels’ is enchanting. There are compositions of considerable musical heft: Phillip Ramey’s Symphonic Song; Robin Walker’s modal fantasy She Moved Through The Fair (the largest and finest work here); Richard Whilds’s 176 Reasons … (one reason per string on each of the 44 players’ instruments). No less artful are the simpler pieces by Nicolas Bacri, Sean Hickey, Gerard Schurmann and José Serebrier, and Gregory Rose’s delightful Eritrean arrangements. The focus shifts between Yodit, her partner Martin (founder of Toccata Classics) and – in Wim Hautekiet’s charming Alex’s Waltz – their son.
Paul Mann again extracts performances of great sensitivity, this time from the Ukrainian Festival Orchestra in Lviv, captured in terrifically clear sound. Another moving release that I have on repeat.