Soundtrack album review: John Harle, Art Music (Sospiro)


We all know that Marc Almond can sing but it still comes as a shock to hear his thrillingly drawn-out climax to Harle’s “The Arrival of Spring”, emoting words adapted from William Blake with operatic oomph.

The overall theme of the album is the inspiration the composer and reeds maestro has found in visual art, with sections devoted to Lucian Freud, David Hockney, Francis Bacon and John Craxton, who was Harle’s friend and neighbour.

As is often the case with composers-for-hire, you’re never quite sure if the music is constructed to support the theme or the other way round, but there’s some wonderful stuff here, with soprano Sarah Leonard and violinist Pavel Sporcl among the guests. But it’s Almond that takes the biscuit.