Related Links

Recommended Links

Give the Composers Timeline Poster



Site News

What's New for
October 2014?

Site Search

Follow us on
Facebook    Twitter

Affiliates

In association with
Amazon
Amazon UKAmazon GermanyAmazon CanadaAmazon FranceAmazon Japan

ArkivMusic
CD Universe

HBDirect

JPC

ArkivMusic

Sheet Music Plus Featured Sale

CD Review

Gordon McPherson

Metier 92073

Detours

  • Detours
  • Echo's Tape
  • Memory Crash
  • Only the Driver Deserves to be Saved
  • Lorelie
  • Phoenix
  • Maps and Diagrams of our Pain
  • Born of Funk and The Fear of Failing
Richard Casey, piano
David Routledge, violin
Allan Neave, guitar
Psappha/Nicholas Kok
Metier MSVCD92073 2CDs 88'56"
Find it at AmazonFind it at Amazon UKFind it at Amazon GermanyFind it at Amazon CanadaFind it at Amazon FranceFind it at Amazon JapanOrder Now from ArkivMusic.com

This is an arresting CD which compels listening. Gordon McPherson (b.1965) teaches composition in Scotland and judging from his notes for this CD his students must enjoy lively intellectual stimulation. He takes cues for composing from ordinary life; Detours is about memories and reflections about cars and accidents; the memory crash alluded to was a computer blow-up; he seems also to have rather a lot of 'split ups' which find their way into his music.

Maps and Diagrams of our Pain (1990) is a long and dense 25 minute duo for piano and violin (Richard Casey & David Routledge), inspired by fascination with psychiatry and exploration of obsessive-compulsion disorder. The CD ends with Born of Funk and The Fear of Failing, a thoroughly engrossing guitar concerto (soloist Allan Neave) which, he avers, is not a guitar concerto because it is impossible to write one; I found it one of the most successful of contemporary guitar concertos I know.

Idiosyncratic though the composer's notes read, the music itself is mostly direct and accessible. Detours begins disconcertingly (to me) blandly, but this is deceptive and we soon enter complexities which bring to mind Ives, whom I guess is to McPherson's taste. He draws on genres outside the classical canon, and some of the references no doubt passed me by.

Psappha is a crack ensemble which plays an important part in UK's northern musical lifeand the whole thing was recorded - quite astonishingly - in one day in April 2001 in the excellent hall of Manchester's Royal Northern College of Music.

Excellent production and the booklet helpfully lists who plays in what pieces. Strongly recommended for its originality and vitality.

Copyright © 2004, Peter Grahame Woolf

Trumpet