Harrison Birtwistle: Triumph of Time, Gawain's Journey

Harrison Birtwistle: Triumph of Time, Gawain's Journey

NMC Recordings
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The Triumph of Time is one of Birtwistle's most memorable images in sound: an immensely slow and baleful processional for vast orchestra, inspired by Breughel the Elder's engraving of the same name depicting Time as a remorseless destroyer. Birtwistle's 1992 opera Gawain was another of his large-scale treatments of the passing of time, and his orchestral paraphrase Gawain's Journey draws together music from various parts of the opera round its turning point of Gawain's journey northward from the court of King Arthur to fulfil his wager with the mysterious Green Knight. These two works are joined by a reissue of the London Sinfonietta's recording of Ritual Fragment, also released on NMC D009.

The Triumph of Time and Gawain's Journey were originally released on Collins Classics.

Philharmonia Orchestra
London Sinfonietta

Elgar Howarth conductor



'It is good to have [these] excellent recordings of two of the composer's major orchestral works resurrected from their Collins Classics grave by the ever-welcome new-music specialist label NMC.' The Daily Telegraph


The Ancora Series is supported by Arts Council England


Triumph of Time, Gawain's Journey
Recording date: January 1993
Recording venue: Blackheath Concert Halls, London
Engineer: Antony Howell
Producer: John H West

Ritual Fragment
Recording date: 21 November 1991
Recording venue: Rosslyn Hill Chapel, Hampstead
Engineer: Tryggvi Tryggvason
Producers: Colin Matthews, Oliver Knussen

Editing & mastering: David Lefeber

Catalogue number: NMC D088
Release Date: 11 January 2005