The British Album is the fourth production by the do.gma chamber orchestra, and this project by the eighteen musicians comes with a special treat: Michael Nyman, who has composed music for many films by Peter Greenaway, has dedicated a new work to the ensemble. It is entitled “When Ingrid Met Capa” and thematizes the liaison between Ingrid Bergmann and the photographer Robert Capa, whose picture of a falling soldier became the iconic image of the Spanish Civil War. Minimalistic, often motoric motifs characterize this work, and the do.gma chamber orchestra wonderfully captures its compelling groove – of course while respecting Nyman’s personal commitment to writing “nothing but beautiful music.”
“In Nomine (after Purcell)” by Gavin Bryars explores an entirely different world. Purcell’s original was composed for a gamba consort, and this version for string orchestra develops the archaic appeal of the absolutely meditative atmosphere arising from its relation to Purcell’s fantasia. The title of Lennox Berkeley’s “Antiphon” also immediately points to old models. Gregorian chant from the Antiphonale Romanum appears in complete form first in the second movement and then is varied; already in the first movement, however, it is subliminally present. Berkeley learned the craft of composition from Nadia Boulanger and was on friendly terms with Ravel and Poulenc and later with Benjamin Britten.
Mentioning Benjamin Britten, his “classic” for string orchestra is also a must here. Unlike what its title might suggest, the “Simple Symphony” is anything but simple. The do.gma chamber orchestra pulls off a genuinely exciting performance of this bestseller, with its fresh approach to the “Boisterous Bourrée” enthusing the listener from the very start. It is astonishing what dynamic potential is contained in the “Playful Pizzicato”! And the sorrowful beauty of the “Sentimental Sarabande” brings tears to our eyes. How fine it is that a genuinely rousing finale then follows in the “Frolicsome Finale”!
This high-resolution Super Audio CD makes for the finest listening pleasure – of course genuinely in 3-D multichannel sound of the 2+2+2-recording, guaranteed to make audiophile hearts beat faster.