Julian Anderson: Poetry Nearing Silence

Julian Anderson: Poetry Nearing Silence

NMC Recordings
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Release Date: 25 October 2019

Christopher Dingle writes: 'Julian Anderson’s music is hard to pin down. It belongs to no school, aesthetic construct or neat-ism. Anderson’s music overflows with arichness and plurality of technique, expression and sheer sound, from abstract noise to throbbing euphony, dissonance to consonance, diatonic modes to twelve-tone harmony, and many shades in between. Yet there is also remarkable precision amidst the exuberant abundance of material, not just in the passages of deceptive simplicity, but also in the most whirligig hubbub of textures with natural or microtonal tunings, for Anderson’s exceptional compositional craft and formidable ear enable his personality full expression.'

This album focuses on Anderson's chamber music. The earliest piece, Ring Dance, written in 1987 and the most recent, Van Gogh Blue, in 2015. Three of the works on the album, Poetry Nearing Silence, Prayer and Van Gogh Blue, were originally composed for the players of the Nash Ensemble, one of the leading chamber ensembles and champions of British new music.

Anderson is a master of evocative titles. Van Gogh Blue is inspired by numerous letters from the artist to his brother Theo. The colour blue was a particular and now famous obsession of his. The Bearded Lady reflects of the story of Baba the Turk, Ring Dance is influenced by the timbre of the Hardanger, a resonant Norwegian folk fiddle. The album title track Poetry Nearing Silence – a suite in eight movements – is inspired by an unusual book of drawings and poems by the artist Tom Phillips entitled The Heart of a Humument.

Also on the album are two related solo works, Prayer for viola (Lawrence Power) and Another Prayer for violin (Benjamin Nabarro).

Nash Ensemble
Martyn Brabbins




'Form and expression, colour and character become adventures in sound … The Nash Ensemble prove exceptional collaborators' BBC Music Magazine

'These recordings… are not only technically immaculate but also demonstrate the Nash Ensemble's trademark commitment to contemporary repertoire that challenges performers in music blending forcefulness and economy, subtlety and spontaneity, to beguiling effect.' Gramophone




Recorded at Menuhin Hall, Yehudi Menuhin School, Cobham, Kent, on 1-3 April 2019

DAVID LEFEBER Recording Engineer & Producer



Catalogue number: NMCD256
Release date: 25 October 2019