SCO & Sean Shibe - Maxwell Davies: An Orkney Wedding, With Sunrise - The Scotsman
The Scottish Chamber Orchestra was a major vehicle of inspiration for Sir Peter Maxwell Davies, who died earlier this year. In turn, it has produced some of the finest insights into his, at times, difficult music. A tribute album, it opens with Ebb of Winter, a piece composed for the orchestra's recent 40th birthday. It's a work representative of the lighter, softer, more translucent Max of his later years. Ben Gernon conducts a performance that glistens with crystal clear textures and those mysterious Orkney soundscapes. The Orkney connection continues in the restlessness of Last Door of Light (after George Mackay Brown's poem "Thorfinn") with its ghostly premonitions of An Orkney Wedding with Sunrise, the rousing final track. In contrast, the brilliant young Scots guitarist Sean Shibe offers solo diversions: the piquancy of Hill Runes, and the simplicity of his most famous tune, Farewell to Stromness.