Judith Weir - The Welcome Arrival of Rain (4 stars)

Judith Weir - The Welcome Arrival of Rain

(NMC Records)


Scottish composer Judith Weir has enjoyed a prominent profile recently, with the world premiere of a new work from the SCO in December, and a whole weekend devoted to her music at the Barbican last month, much of it broadcast on Radio 3. She will be high profile again in April, when Scottish Opera stage her A Night at the Chinese Opera. Among all this activity comes this fine new disc.

It features five pieces for orchestra, with Martyn Brabbins conducting the BBC SO. Two of them, ‘Natural History’ (soprano Ailish Tynan) and ‘Moon and Star’ (BBC Singers), also feature voice. A decade separates the earliest piece, ‘Heroic Strokes of the Bow’ (1991/2) from the newest, ‘The Welcome Arrival of Rain’ (a title inspired by the Indian monsoon). They add up to a convincing snapshot of a composer with an original ear for instrumental sonorities and subtle harmonic colour.

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