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Classical Music Review

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Three Scenes
Modern Chamber Works


Composer: Elliott Miles McKinley
Conductor: Erik Rohde
Performed by: The New York Festival Brass Quintet and The Estrella Consort
Label: Navona Records
RRP: £13.99
Release Date: 12 July 2019

Elliott McKinley’s releases his album, Three Scenes, via Navona Records. Here he presents three powerful pieces of modern chamber music...

Three Scenes opens with 'Six Movements for Brass Quintet' performed by the New York Festival Brass Quintet. The somber composition transition from the slightly ominous feel of the introduction, 'Glass Towers,' to the mournful mood of first of the song’s three episodes, 'Dirge'.

I couldn't help but be reminded of John Williams's score for Star Wars on 'Six Movements for Brass Quintet'. There are segments that sound similar to music Williams used as a backdrop for the Jawas (at the mid way of 'Dawn Breezes') and the Tie Fighter Attack on 'Frozen Fire'. In addition, 'Fanfare' has many elements that are similar in style to Williams's work on Jaws.

'Aria', a piece written for saxophone quartet and fixed-media, is performed by the Estrella Consort. And is something of a slow burner. It beautifully builds across its 12 min, 10 sec runtime.

The final selection on the album is a chamber concerto, 'Four Grooves', which won the Indiana State University Contemporary Music Festival’s MusicNow competition. It's performed by the Estrella Consort and comprised of four movements, each with its own distinct texture.

This is a lovingly crafted collection, which represents a rich and varied offering of modern chamber works.


Darren Rea

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