MOVIE MAVEN | New York, NY USA | 03/18/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Friends of mine in London knew that I had never heard the music of one of England's most revered living composers: Nicholas Maw. They sent me this CD and it is magnificent. There are 3 totally different pieces of music here, written between 1987 and 1996, almost as if they were written by 3 different men. The "Hymnus" is arguably the most beautiful. It consists of two hymns (one for dawn, one for evening) performed hauntingly by the Oxford Bach Choir & the BBC Concert Orchestra. Maw paints pictures with his music and much of it is in the British pastoral style, esp. the "Little Concert" written for solo oboe, 2 horns and strings. The "lonely" sound of the oboe immediately reminded me of the music of Gerald Finzi and even of the paintings of Edward Hopper. If you think that a contemporary composer can only write atonal music, give Maw a listen. His work is completely melodic, mysterious, lovely. The sound on this new disc is perfect, as are all the performances."