Headlong: Music for Clarinet by Christopher Fox


Catalogue No: MSV 28573
EAN/UPC: 8097307857324
Release Date: February 2018
Discs: 1
Total Playing Time: 74:02

The new album ‘Headlong’ contains all but one of Christopher Fox’s works for solo clarinet (that one is available on another album – check the Fox index and like his previous Métier albums is an awe-inspiring mix of compositions which may be avant-garde and untraditional, but he has the gift of using relative simplicity and very often a wit which makes listening enjoyable and often good fun too. His position as one of the most individual and talented of today’s modernists is assured.

The brilliant Heather Roche is the sole performer on the album, playing clarinets in E flat and C, bass clarinet and contrabass, often overdubbing to duet with herself and with occasional electronics and sampling to create additional textures. An essential album for new-music fans but will also give less adventurous listeners a very pleasant and fascinating set of new discoveries.

Track Listing

    Christopher Fox:

  1. Stone.wind.rain.sun4
  2. Straight Lines in Broken Times4
  3. …or just after
  4. Early One Morning
  5. Unlocking the Grid
  6. Escalation
  7. Headlong
  8. Divisions


BMS Newsletter

Fox responds to a number of intriguing stimuli from art to mathematical equations [and] explores every aspect of the instrument’s capabilities in terms of pitch, rhythm, and timbre, consistently stretching limits in the pursuit of engaging musical soundscapes. Heather Roche responds to the challenge admirably with tour de force commitment and skill, giving all of these works performances for which any composer would be grateful. The standard of musicianship is exemplary. The disc is a valuable and welcome addition to the Fox discography.

” —Andrew King
BBC Music Magazine

Utterly intriguing. This marvellous collection of works for clarinet, performed by the excellent Heather Roche, certainly exemplifies the composer’s intense, playful and endlessly exploratory musical voice. Performance 5/5 Recording 5/5

” —Kate Wakeling
MusicWeb International

I have always found much to enjoy and admire in Christopher Fox’s music. Heather Roche is a superb advocate for Fox’s clarinet works. Fascinating timbral contrasts. It is difficult to imagine Metier’s recorded sound could be improved.

” —Richard Hanlon
The Chronicle

The composer is right when he says the collection shows how a great player can make an instrument speak in so many voices; for music that is quite abstract, the sleeve notes are straightforward and add to the experience, and Heather Roche is an accomplished clarinettist. Most of the music is also pretty accessible.

” —Jeremy Condliffe
MusicWeb International

There is a distinct magic about virtually every piece on this retrospective of Christopher Fox’s clarinet music. Everything tells me that it is out of my comfort zone, yet I enjoyed most of these pieces. The sound quality of this CD is perfect, allowing the brightness and precision of the instruments to be clearly heard. . I think that [even lovers of mainstream clarinet chamber music] will find something of great interest on this CD.

” —John France