Album: Maconchy, The Sofa / The Departure – Independent Opera, (Chandos)

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The Independent Culture

Founded as a showcase for young artists, Independent Opera completed its cycle of productions last year with Stephen McNeff's orchestration of Pelléas et Mélisande.

Conducted by Dominic Wheeler, this recording of 2007's Elizabeth Maconchy double-bill is testament to the company's vivacity and Maconchy's instinct for evocative music theatre. In "The Sofa", bright young things flirt with Strauss, Puccini and fairy tales. In "The Departure", a requiem for a life unfinished is scored with exceptional sensitivity.

Pick of the album: Louise Poole's tender soliloquy in 'The Departure'

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