Click here to return to the main site.

Classical Music Review

Cover Image

Sparks: Eye of London


Composer: various
Conductor: Miran Vaupotić
Performed by: London Symphony Orchestra
Label: Navona Records
RRP: £13.99
Release Date: 28 October 2022

Navona Records presents Sparks: Eye of London, an assembly of original fanfares performed by the London Symphony Orchestra. Drawing from the compositional strengths of today’s composers, the orchestra navigates chaos and order, isolation, and ascension towards triumph through passionate orchestral writing reminiscent of the fire that burns within us. A collection spanning thought-provoking narratives, scenic synesthesia, soothing passages, and the whimsically abstract, the London Symphony Orchestra explores a vast musical landscape of emotions, tackling each with precision and verve...

Sparks: Eye of London is a celebration of life, showcasing 11 (55 min, 43 sec) epic themes that stay with you long after the music has faded. There is so much here to enjoy, that it is hard to know where to start singing its praises.

If anything this sounds like a collection of rich, multi-layered themes from lavish Hollywood movies of the '50s and '60s. And, for me, that's what was a huge part of its charm. There are imaginary stories here that will instantly be conjured up in the listener's mind. Nowhere is this more true than Mark John McEncroe's lush 'Time Heals & Reveals'. Elsewhere, Don Bowyer' 'Lockdown Themes' has a wonderful moment which pays homage to John Williams's shark attack theme from Jaws.

But the best is saved for last. Brian Wilbur Grundstrom 'Overture' for 'Ernest Hemingway’s For Whom the Bell Tolls' is a truly remarkable and wonderfully conceived piece with way more life and gusto injected into its 5 min run time than you'd expect.

Each and every piece has its own strength... with very little in the way of weakness. A lovingly curated collection of emotionally charged works of art. This is an album you'll cherish and enjoy for years to come.

Track listing:

Beth Mehocic
01. Fanfare for Jacob Grayson (4:22)

Gregory W Brown
02. (Of) Course (4:01)

Ferdinando DeSena
03. First of July (5:10)

Mark Dal Porto
04. Bucolic Celebration (4:21)

Eric Klein
05. New Day Fanfare (7:46)

Don Bowyer
06. Lockdown Themes (4:18)

Sergio Cervetti
07. Gated Angel (4:53)

Daniel Perttu
08. Phoenix (5:01)

Mark John McEncroe
09. Time Heals & Reveals (5:29)

Hans Bakker
10. Ananke (5:27)

Brian Wilbur Grundstrom
11. Overture for Ernest Hemingway’s For Whom the Bell Tolls, A New Opera in Two Acts (5:00)


Darren Rea

Buy this item online

Digital album
Digital album