Album: Armstrong, Memory Takes My Hand – BBC Symphony Orchestra/Walker (Virgin Classics)
Sunday 08 June 2008
Portentous and banal, "Memory Takes My Hand" is the least interesting of the three works here. Not even Lucy Crowe can make Peter Arnott's lyrics intelligible at the tessitura chosen by Craig Armstrong, and the BBC SO treads water in a score that sounds as though Carl Orff had been reincarnated as an ambient composer.
Much better is "Immer", the violin concerto written for Clio Gould and tailored exactly to the shimmering transparency of her sound. "One Minute" is a series of snapshots of 15 Scottish locations. Armstrong's depiction of rough weather is powerful, but he fails to find any hidden beauty in Govan.
Pick of the Album: Gould's luminous performance of 'Immer'
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