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Classical Music Review

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Lines at Dusk


Composers: Various
Performed by: John McGuire (horn), Kevin Chance (piano), Wesley Ferreira (clarinet) and The Fortress Brass Quintet
Label: Navona Records
RRP: £13.99
Release Date: 24 January 2020

On Lines at Dusk, acclaimed hornist John McGuire presents seven pieces, written by a variety of composers.

The album opens with the three-part work 'Landscapes, Series II'. Inspired by Japanese landscape paintings and woodcuts, the music takes the listener on a journey from the dangerous mountains through the tranquility of the countryside and the bustling energy of a large city.

'Lines at Dusk: Hymn to the Rising Moon' is inspired by two of Percy Bysshe Shelley’s poems. 'Nocturne', by Traci Mendel, was written for horn and piano for McGuire’s birthday in 2000. Embedded in the chords is the opening melody from Strauss’s 'Horn Concerto No. 1', which McGuire was working on at the time.

'Bataque', which refers to a genre of music and dance associated with coastal West Africa and Brazil, is a two-part work. The first movement focuses on the tuneful melodies performed by the kantaderas (singers) while the second, more energetic movement captures the complex polyrhythms of the batukaderas (drummers.)

The album’s two solo pieces – 'Intrada' and 'Laudatio' – highlight McGuire’s ability to deliver very different, yet equally memorable performances with the horn taking centre stage.

'Brass Quintet No. 1' is a three-movement work (shared over two tracks) performed by the Fortress Brass Quintet, rounding this album's diversity off beautifully.

McGuire isn't just a wonderful performer, he's equally adept at structuring his performances so as to showcase his chosen instrument off to the best of its ability. From solo pieces, to accompaniment by one or two other instruments, to a brass quintet... there's plenty of variety to hold your attention from start to finish.

Track listing:

John McGuire (horn)

Traci Mendel (b. 1964)
Landscapes, Series II
Kevin Chance (piano)
01 - I. Tall mountains, rising mist, and Shinto shrine (5:17)
02 - II. Rain Falling on Rice Fields (4:14)
03 - III. Tokyo in the Distance (6:47)

04 - Lines at Dusk: Hymn to the Rising Moon (4:28)
Kevin Chance (piano)

05 - Nocturne (5:26)
Kevin Chance (piano)

James M. David (b. 1978)
Wesley Ferreira (clarinet), Kevin Chance (piano)
06 - I. Kantaderas (5:28)
07 - II. Batukaderas (3:51)

Otto Ketting (1935-2012)
08 - Intrada (4:21)

Bernhard Krol (1920-2013)
09 - Laudatio (4:56)

Alexey Posin (b. 1971)
Brass Quintet No. 1
The Fortress Brass Quintet
Bradley Ulrich, Eric Yates (trumpets), John McGuire (horn), Bradley Kerns (trombone), Michael Dunn (tuba)
10 - I. Allegro Vivo (3:42)
11 - II. Intermezzo, III. Rondo-Tarantella (5:30)


Darren Rea

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