MARK BOWDEN : SUDDEN LIGHT
Oliver Coates cello
Julian Warburton percussion
BBC National Orchestra of Wales
Grant Llewellyn conductor
Hyeyoon Park violin Huw Watkins piano
Debut Discs is a new series in collaboration with BA (Hons) Graphic Design students at Central Saint Martins College of Arts and Design.
The work of new designers showcased alongside the music of a younger generation of composers highlights the emerging talent and connections between the two arts forms.
The cover designs were exhibited at the series press launch event on 7 June.
The finals designs for the 12 releases in this series were selected by a judging panel including composer Colin Matthews, cover designer for 4AD Vaughan Oliver and Guardian/Radio 3 journalist Tom Service.
Debut Discs has the ambassadorial support of Sir Peter Maxwell Davies.
Mark Bowden's passion for orchestral writing and exploring its enormous timbral range is evident on his debut album of works written over the last decade.
The intoxicating Lyra (2011) for cello and orchestra was described as a richly allusive work of considerable scope and ambition by Seen and Heard International and was Bowden's first commission, as resident composer, for BBC National Orchestra of Wales (BBC NOW). The solo cello part calls for a blistering technique and was written for Oliver Coates, who performs on this recording. The work's title and inspiration has multiple references: a constellation of stars, a bass viol from the seventeenth century, a class of Russian nuclear-powered submarines and the lead character in Philip Pullman's fantasy trilogy His Dark Materials.
Heartland (2012), also commissioned by BBC NOW, was created as both a standalone percussion concerto and a ballet score for the National Dance Company Wales. The Times review of its World Premiere said that the work bubbles with fluid, spicy rhythms and pretty celestial ruminations
watching Julian Warburton play it was a fascinating show in itself.
Sudden Light (2005) was inspired by Marcus du Sautoy's book The Music of the Primes and explores the play of consonance and dissonance through the overtones of the harmonic series.
As a contrast to the orchestral works on this album, Five Memos (2015) is a light, airy interplay between violin and piano, performed beautifully by Hyeyoon Park (violin) and Huw Watkins (piano).
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