Spirited (English Music Festival Newsletter)

This two-disc set features music by Gordon Crosse on disc one and by John Manduell on the second disc. Crosse is represented by his rather mysterious Brief Encounter for oboe d’amore (Richard Simpson), recorder (John Turner) and strings (the Manchester Sinfonia, conducted by Timothy Reynish), the Concerto for viola and strings with French horn (with Matthew Jones as violist), and the inventive and effective Fantasia on Ca’ the Yowes for recorder, harp and strings. Although all three works were written in 2009, they combine lyricism with an individual voice and successfully manage to avoid pastiche.

John Manduell’s Flutes Concerto for flautist, harp, strings and percussion (including Atmospheric use of the rainstick) and Double Concerto for oboe, cor anglais, strings and percussion (with flautist Michael Cox, Richard Simpson oboist again and Alison Teale on cor anglais) are also individual, interesting and confidently composed works. All works are Performed with flair and conviction.

—Em Marshall-Luck