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Classical Music Review

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Spells: The Works of Juli Nunlist


Composer: Juli Nunlist
Conductor: Andrew Shenton
Performed by: The Pedroia String Quartet and Slovak Radio Symphony Orchestra
Label: Navona Records
RRP: £13.99
Release Date: 12 May 2017

Navona Records release a collection of works by Juli Nunlist. Spells marks a journey through the earnest, romantic, and dramatic sounds of the late artist’s compositional language. The album’s works demonstrate Nunlist’s appreciation for tradition and grandeur, and are driven by her remarkable gift for melody and clear fascination with instrumental texture...

Spells collects together four works by the late Juli Nunlist (1916 - 2006). These are varied and showcase different sides to her compositional skills. Of the album's 18 songs (1 hr, 15 min, 52 sec) I was particularly drawn to the two part Two Symphonic Poems. It's big and bold, almost patriotic in its pomp and grandeur.

'Six Chansons from Prières dans L'Arche - Prière du papillon' had elements that reminded me of 'Neptune' from Gustav Holst's The Planets suite.

The six part Spells was the album's low point for me, mainly as it's a choral recording that sounds a little lacking with the absence of other instruments. I know this is the point of it, but I just felt it would have worked better with the inclusion of an orchestra.

It's an interesting collection and one that should inspire those not overly familiar with Nunlist's work to seek out more of her recordings.


Darren Rea

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