My latest disc has just been released on the Toccata Classics Label, featuring music written for 13 Strings (eight violins, two violas, two cellos and double-bass) as well as one short work for solo violin. The disc is recorded by Longbow – Director/Peter Sheppard Skaerved, Mihailo Trandafilovski, Aisha Orazbayeva, Midori Komachi, Alice Barron, Annabelle Berthome Reynolds, Sara Cubarsi, Shulah Oliver, Morgan Goff, Diana Mathews, Evie Heyde, Valerie Welbanks, Rachel Meerloo. Sébastien Rousseau (Flugel Horn) is soloist in my memorial work `The Scarlet Flower’ dedicated to the memory of the First World War British nurse Edith Cavell who was executed in Brussels in 1915, The release of the disc coincides (almost to the day) with the Edith Cavell’s execution – the short work `Epitaph for Edith Cavell’ for solo violin (performed by Peter Sheppard Skaerved) is also written in her memory and is based on material from the opening of `The Scarlet Flower’. I have written two musical portraits of the seaport of Dover with `Dover, Dogger, Fisher, German Bight, Humber, Thames Dover White’ and `Pulp and Rags’. `Dogger, Fisher, ……’ is written as a ‘diptych’ with a poem by Malene Sheppard Skaerved bound together by recorded sound from Dover beach.
Longbow is a virtuoso string ensemble composed of some of today’s most adventurous players. Their work is entirely project-based, resulting in critically acclaimed recordings for Toccata Classics, Naxos and Metier. The members of this international group hail from the USA, Macedonia, Kazakhstan, Japan, France, Belgium, Canada and the UK. The ensemble’s most recent release, of Hans Werner Henze, was reviewed by Gramophone as ‘this superb disc’ and was ‘disc of the week’ in The Guardian. The artistic directors of Longbow are Peter Sheppard Skaerved and myself.
Nigel Clarke: Music for Thirteen Solo Strings (TOCC0325) can be purchased direct from Toccata Classics: www.toccataclassics.com or from Amazon and Naxos Direct or download from iTunes.
This clip is taken from the recording session and features `Pulp & Rags’ which commemorates the Buckland Paper Mill which use to be a major part of Dover’s history.