Notes and Editorial Reviews
This survey of Judith Weir’s often quirky and always engaging music displays some of the concerns that unite her writing for voice and for instruments: storytelling and the gap between truth and fiction; invention and fantasy; the lessons that can be learned from other times and other cultures. Communication between generations, continents and women lies at the heart of Nuits d’Afrique, conceived as a companion piece to Maurice Ravel’s Chansons madécasses. Its dedicatee, Ailish Tynan, joins the outstanding Hebrides Ensemble players here and in Really?, a resonant sequence of folk-tales set in an idiosyncratic mixture of speech and song. The hymns of the medieval Rhenish saint, poet and composer Hildegard of Bingen underlie two recent chamber pieces, while the early Airs from another Planet imagines how Scottish folk music might sound after several generations of evolution in outer space.
The talents of the players of the Hebrides Ensemble shine here; their performance is excellent, as are the vocal talents, whether sung or spoken, of Ailish Tynan. Add to this the superb acoustic and recorded sound and you have a first-rate recording, which, if you don’t know Judith Weir’s colourful music yet, would serve as a perfect introduction. It is also blessed with very informative booklet notes which add to the enjoyment of this music. All those involved in this recording should be heartily applauded.
– MusicWeb International