Forthcoming on NMC – Rebecca Saunders: Skin

It is remarkable that Rebecca Saunders – by any measure one of the UK’s leading and most admired composers – has not yet been recorded by this country’s primary new music label, NMC (although her music has appeared on three discs by HCR, which are distributed through NMC). So the announcement of a first release this November is extremely welcome. Even more so is that it will feature one of Saunders’ finest recent works, the blistering Skin (2016), performed by its dedicatee, Juliet Fraser, with Klangforum Wien. Also on the recording is the double percussion concerto void, from 2014, performed by Christian Dierstein, Dirk Rothbrust and the Rundfunk-Sinfonieorchester Berlin conducted by Enno Poppe; and the 2017 string quartet Unbreathed, written for and performed by the Quatuor Diotima.

Here’s a short extract from Skin, a work that Paul Griffiths’ liner notes say ‘stretches its soprano protagonist across the feverishly alive body of instrumentalists. She is this music’s skin. Voice is this music’s skin.’ I await the full recording eagerly; release date is 18 November, be sure to check the NMC website for more details nearer the time.


Heads-up: Plus-Minus ensemble at Kings Place

Another essential concert at Kings Place: Plus-Minus Ensemble celebrate the extremities of sonic investigation: from the raw and compelling sound-world of Xenakis, via the refined textures or Rebecca Saunders and finishing with a meditative, micro-looping large-scale work especially written for the group by Bryn Harrison.
Iannis Xenakis – Dikhthas
Rebecca Saunders – Vermilion
Iannis Xenakis – Evryali
Bryn Harrison – Repetitions in Extended Time

Date: Monday 12 April
Time: 20:00
Venue: Hall Two
Price: £9.50

If you want a taste of Plus-Minus’s work, you really should visit their website, which is full of video and sound examples. Pertinent to this concert, here’s a recording of the group playing Harrison’s Rise for the Messiaen quartet line-up of clarinet, violin, cello and piano.

Tickets and further details via the Kings Place website.