Nigel Clarke: Samurai; Black Fire; The Miraculous Violin

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - James Manheim
The music of contemporary British composer Nigel Clarke heard here is brash, absolutely direct, full of attention-getting strokes, and above all physically involving and challenging for the players. Clarke works closely with soloists not only after but during the composition of a work, sometimes incorporating players' practice and warm-up routines into his music. Violinist Peter Sheppard Skaerved is a specialist in Clarke's music, and Clarke writes mostly for the violin, although his own background is that of a military trumpeter. Band music gives Clarke's music its frontal-attack feel, but it is his skill at weaving a variety of other influences together that keeps the ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - James Manheim
The music of contemporary British composer Nigel Clarke heard here is brash, absolutely direct, full of attention-getting strokes, and above all physically involving and challenging for the players. Clarke works closely with soloists not only after but during the composition of a work, sometimes incorporating players' practice and warm-up routines into his music. Violinist Peter Sheppard Skaerved is a specialist in Clarke's music, and Clarke writes mostly for the violin, although his own background is that of a military trumpeter. Band music gives Clarke's music its frontal-attack feel, but it is his skill at weaving a variety of other influences together that keeps the listener guessing and avoids bombast even as the music gets really loud. He draws on Stravinsky, especially his primitivist phase, Kurt Weill, world traditions, and perhaps the new virtuosity of Crumb. Sample the little "Loulan" for solo violin track 3 for a taste; although most of Clarke's music is not Asian in flavor, it does evoke the intense connections between music and theater that are a special province of Asian musical cultures. The other Asian-influenced work on the program is 1995's "Samurai," for wind ensemble, with some very active percussion. It's a crowd-pleaser that will wake up anybody who tends to fall asleep during concerts, but the sheer physicality of other works, such as "The Miraculous Violin" for violin and strings 2000, is ultimately more appealing -- young soloists on violin or trumpet who are looking for music with which they can push themselves to their limits and compel the attention of a crowd should get to know Clarke's compositions. Most of the album was recorded at an unusual venue -- the Royal Navy's HMS Raleigh training establishment -- but it proves to be an inspired choice for Clarke's music, with a spacious acoustic that can contain its blaring side without stimulating auditory claustrophobia.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 11/20/2007
  • Label: Naxos
  • UPC: 747313042975
  • Catalog Number: 8570429
  • Sales rank: 277,399

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 Pernambuco, for solo violin - Nigel Clarke & Peter Sheppard Skærved (7:06)
  2. 2 The Miraculous Violin, for violin & strings - Nigel Clarke & Peter Sheppard Skærved (18:12)
  3. 3 Loulan, for solo violin - Nigel Clarke & Peter Sheppard Skærved (3:23)
  4. 4 Samurai, for wind ensemble - Band of H.M. Royal Marines & Nigel Clarke (11:49)
  5. 5 Premonitions, for solo trumpet - Nigel Clarke & Ivan Hutchinson (5:35)
  6. 6 Black Fire, for violin & wind ensemble - Band of H.M. Royal Marines & Nigel Clarke (25:58)
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
Longbow Primary Artist
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