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Reviews for Richard Causton's Millennium Scenes

last modified Jun 17, 2014 11:50 AM

A brand new CD of music by Richard Causton was launched last month to great critical acclaim. The disc, which was released on the NMC label and features the Hallé Orchestra and the Birmingham Contemporary Music Group, collects together five of Causton's major works: Millennium Scenes, Notturno, As Kingfishers Catch Fire, The Persistence of Memory and the Chamber Symphony.

The disc was featured as 'Outstanding' in this month's International Record Review, which described it as "an invaluable release that anyone with an interest in contemporary music - British or otherwise - needs to acquire".

Some other press comments:

"Causton (b. 1971) is among our most imaginative composers, and these five works, all substantial, often with a flaring brilliance, are almost too much to take in. They will repay many listenings. Millennium Scenes is a powerful large-orchestral diptych whose opening, with declamatory unison strings, screeching piccolos and club-music thuds, is unforgettably fierce." (Paul Driver, Sunday Times).

"Notturno's spacious, introspective first two movements feature memorably evocative solo passages for piano and viola supported by billowy ensemble chording that shifts around to subtle effect...As Kingfishers Catch Fire's twisted, deconstructed faux-Renaissance evocations are underlined by intimate, close-up sound that brings the listener to within licking distance of the instruments, adding intensity to note attacks during the energetic harp and pizzicato string interplay midway through the piece. By contrast, The Persistence of Memory's sparse textures and delicate scoring will either hold the listener in rapt suspense or convey a static aura, depending on one's listening mood." (Jed Distler, Gramophone).

"The Chamber Symphony [evolves] over two movements whose relative conflict and continuity make possible a resolution as impressive in its overall integration as anything Causton has achieved. Many question the culture around them, but few transcend it with the emotional acuity heard here." (Richard Whitehouse, International Record Review).

The new release is entitled Millennium Scenes (NMC D192) and can be ordered online or directly from the Shop at King's.