Release Date: 8 February 2019
Edmund Finnis is a ‘hugely gifted composer’ (Sunday Telegraph) and his multifaceted output ranges from intimate music for soloists and duets to immersive electronic pieces, music for film, ensemble and choral music, and works for large orchestra. This album demonstrates the breadth of Finnis' music to date with world-class ensembles and soloists including the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, Britten Sinfonia, BCMG, London Contemporary Orchestra, Víkingur Ólafsson and Mark Simpson, along with conductors who have demonstrated a deep understanding of his music: Ilan Volkov, Richard Baker, Robert Ames and Andrew Gourlay.
Finnis' compositions are beautiful and iridescent, and explore in detail the potential embodied in each of the instruments he writes for. Two examples of this are the title track The Air, Turning which draws on the idea that music is just vibrating air and the sensation of sound moving around us and Elsewhere, written for violin with reverb, that delicately spins melodic shapes like spiderwebs, with light bowing and whispy flautando effects.
This is a stunning release from a young composer with a unique and compelling soundworld.
BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra
Ilan Volkov conductor
Eloisa-Fleur Thom violin
Birmingham Contemporary Music Group
Richard Baker conductor
London Contemporary Orchestra
Robert Ames conductor
Mark Simpson clarinet
Víkingur Ólafsson piano
Benjamin Beilman violin
Andrew Gourlay conductor
BBC MUSIC MAGAZINE PREMIERE AWARD WINNER 2020
'Edmund Finnis’ The Air, Turning is a similarly descriptive and evocative creation with hints of film music enhancing a strong piece of storytelling' thoroughlygood.me
'A striking collection of works' The Guardian
''Reveals his precious ability to transform the most straightforward musical objects, sometimes even a single chord, into something richly mysterious and compelling' The Guardian
'RTE Sound Out March Music Pick' RTE Sound Out Recommends
'An intriguing disc of a composer to watch' Gramophone
'Edmund Finnis invites rather than demands attention - and the more it is given, the more its gifts unfold.' BBC Music Magazine ★★★★★
'open, airy and deep at the same time' Scherzo
'Finnis is an accomplished composer who paints in broad brushstrokes with exquisite miniature gestures woven into remarkable tapestries of sound.' BBC Music Magazine Awards 2020
'[an] excellent showcase for a composer who delights in microscopic details' BBC Radio 3 Record Review
With special thanks to Christoph and Marion Trestler, The RVW Trust, The Hinrichsen Foundation and the Royal Academy of Music for their support of this recording.
Thank you to the Trusts, Foundations and individuals who have invested in NMC’s Debut Discs series:
Stanley Picker Trust
The Steel Charitable Trust
James and Anne Rushton
Parallel Colour was commissioned by Birmingham Contemporary Music Group, with financial assistance from the following individuals through BCMG’s Sound Investment Scheme:
Richard Bratby & Annette Rubery
Alan S Carr
Alan B Cook
Gareth Llyr Evans
Amanda Cadman and Peter T Marsh
Kim and Kay Prior
Maureen and William Scott
Michael and Sandra Squires
Owen G Watkins
Doreen and Harry Wright
The Air, Turning was commissioned by the BBC for the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra. Elsewhere was commissioned by Daniel Pioro. Between Rain was commissioned by the London Contemporary Orchestra. The first performance was given by the London Contemporary Orchestra, conducted by Hugh Brunt, at the Roundhouse, on 23 August 2014. Four Duets was commissioned by Mark Simpson with generous financial assistance from the Fidelio Charitable Trust. Shades Lengthen was commissioned by London Music Masters, supported by The Boltini Trust.
Shades Lengthen, Between Rain and Elsewhere were recorded at All Saints Church, East Finchley, London on 14-15 April 2018. Parallel Colour was recorded at CBSO Centre, Birmingham on 6 May 2018.
DAVID LEFEBER Recording Engineer & Producer
Four Duets was recorded by the BBC at BBC Maida Vale Studios, Studio 2, London on 28 May 2013.
PHILIP BURWELL Recording Engineer
JANET TUPPEN Producer
The Air, Turning was recorded by the BBC at City Halls, Glasgow on 23 February 2017.
HYWEL JONES Recording Engineer
DOUGLAS TEMPLETON Producer