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Hyperion Records

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Track(s) taken from CDA67209
Recording details: December 2000
Walthamstow Assembly Halls, London, United Kingdom
Release date: April 2001
Total duration: 24 minutes 24 seconds

'All three works programmed here are lusciously scored … You couldn’t hope for a better played, or more richly recorded, trio of performances' (Gramophone)

'Well worth exploring” (BBC Music Magazine)

'Gethsemani … contains some of the loveliest orchestral sounds I have heard in years. If you have made a resolution to buy only one CD this month you should make it this one’ (International Record Review)

'Hyperion once again has us in its debt with its recovery of scores long lost from view … immensely attractive as well as impressively written. I am in no doubt that they deserve to be in the regular repertoire' (The Times)

'This is the luxuriant but richly evocative and eventful music of a born orchestrator. A discovery, thrillingly performed by Ceccato and the LPO' (The Sunday Times)

'Strongly recommended' (Fanfare, USA)

'La notte di Plàton' is an exciting and rich work that makes use of unique orchestral writing to procure a striking, almost primitive effect … Gethsemeni is a poem of lush and startling beauty. The performances, under the baton of Aldo Ceccato, are superb. A fantastic disc that cannot be recommended highly enough’ (Music Teacher)

'Lush textures in lucid orchestration, with exquisite melodies supported by warm, summer-night harmonies. A real discovery' (Punch)


Gethsemani  [24'24]

The score of this symphonic meditation is prefaced by a long description of the various moods and characterisations it contains:

Night descends on Gethsemani. The shadows fall; stillness and silence reign. It is as if the garden itself remembers that evening when the Saviour himself came to it, seeking rest after those tumultuous days in Jerusalem. Our heart is overcome with holy ecstasy, and worships you … and yearns to sleep, thus, among your memories, and to dream …
A mysterious call reverberates in the sky. The heavens, trembling, seem to shower the Holy Land with a gentle rain of stars. In the silence a remote voice affirms the unyielding law of ‘Pain’ and ‘Redemption by Renunciation’.
We tremble, search our hearts and humble ourselves; we berate ourselves and are sad …. Then, unexpectedly, we feel a touch like a caress – perhaps that of the first breath of dawn. We look up towards heaven, to the multitude of constellations and galaxies, and we are suddenly aware of God’s promise to us all.
This, surely, is the hour for reflection and prayer …

With the composer’s own descriptive outline of the work, it is easy to follow its emotional progress; what is of particular interest is that the entire thematic material is based upon Gregorian chant, but which is so subtly stated at the outset (on muted first violins – a rising unaccompanied phrase) that it is at once transformed into a larger monothematic study, whose orchestration is of great beauty and refinement.

from notes by Robert Matthew-Walker © 2001

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