Album review: Edward Cowie, Gesangbuch (Signum Classics)

 

Edward Cowie draws on the natural world for compositional inspiration, echoing Gyorgy Ligeti in his interest in birdsong. “Bell Bird Motet” here mimics the sounds of Australian frogs and birds in the isolated vocal chirps and croaks of the BBC Singers which coagulate into a climactic whooping, while “The Soft Complaining Flute” relies on flautist Stephen Preston's unique “ecosonic” technique, around which six soprano voices flutter, butterfly-like.

The BBC Singers are joined by the Endymion ensemble for the lengthy “Gesangbuch”, a four-part choral work whose wordless vocals and darting, sprite-like musical tones create a work of suitably elemental spirits animated by the changing seasonal round.

Download: Bell Bird Motet; The Soft Complaining Flute; Gesangbuch

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