Notes and Editorial Reviews
To mark its 20th Anniversary in 2009 NMC Recordings has commissioned The NMC Songbook. Nearly 100 composers, ranging from the country’s most highly regarded figures to the younger generation of emerging talents, have each written a song, loosely themed on ‘Britain’ and scored for single voice or duet and a range of accompanying instruments.
The songs have been set to text chosen by the composers and cover a vast array of subjects, from well-known poems by Blake and Byron through to a list of the Kings and Queens of England, extracts from a National Trust brochure, chants from the Leyton Orient terraces, a whisky recipe, and a colourful rant about road rage.
Recorded at Kings Place in the autumn of 2008 The NMC Songbook will be launched as a 4-CD box set in April simultaneously with the first public performances of the songs at Kings Place, London spread over four days of concerts and curated by composer and Executive Producer of NMC, Colin Matthews.
Composers involved include Julian Anderson, Harrison Birtwistle, Tansy Davies, Gavin Bryars, Gordon Crosse, Peter Maxwell Davies, James Dillon, Michael Finnissy, Alexander Goehr, Emily Hall, Jonathan Harvey, Robin Holloway, Simon Holt, Anna Meredith, Thea Musgrave, Anthony Payne, David Sawer, Howard Skempton, Errollyn Wallen, Judith Weir, Luke Bedford, John Woolrich and many more....
Singers include Elizabeth Atherton, Claire Booth, Ailish Tynan, Susan Bickley, Jean Rigby, Lore Lixenberg, James Bowman, Michael Chance and Daniel Norman, accompanied by Iain Burnside, Andrew Ball, Huw Watkins and Andrew Plant (piano), Jane Chapman (harpsichord), Lucy Wakeford (harp), Antonis Hatzinikolaou (guitar) and Owen Gunnell (percussion).
"This is the kind of release that repays investment time and time again; in years to come, when certain composers have faded, and certain others have emerged, The NMC Songbook will remain as a vital document of song composition at a particularly interesting point of development for British music, a point in which the songbook itself will have played no little part."
-- Stephen Graham, MusicalCriticism.com
"This extraordinary project confirms the robust health and endlessly varied landscape of Britain's new music. There is no other document anywhere that has given such a snapshot of an artistic community that, while comprised of a hundred different ways of expressing itself, is of one voice when it comes to creative energy."
-- John Adams