SKEMPTON: Man and Bat • Piano Concerto • The Moon is Flashing • Eternity’s Sunrise

£10.99 + P&P

Skempton’s music is exquisite and simple, with strong clarity and sophistication. His finely-crafted, distinctive writing is sometimes catchy, sometimes transcendental, always memorable.

“He [Skempton] has gifted us yet another tour de force for the gleeful performer and audiences are in for a real treat.”
(Roderick Williams on Man and Bat)

“I think it’s a wonderful piece. I have no idea why it works and hangs together as a whole, but it does, I feel incredibly lucky to have been involved. It’s a once-in-a-lifetime chance. I loved this piece” (James Gilchrist on The Moon is Flashing)

‘It’s engrossing. A superb anthology’ (The Arts Desk)
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Description

Released October 2019

Howard SKEMPTON (1947–)

1. Man and Bat (2017) (text: D.H. Lawrence)
Roderick Williams baritone
Ensemble 360
(Benjamin Nabarro, Hannah Dawson violins,
Ruth Gibson viola, Gemma Rosefield cello,
Leon Bosch double bass, Tim Horton piano)

Piano Concerto (2015)
(version for piano and string quartet, 2018)
2. I.
3. II.
4. III.
5. IV.
6. V.
Ensemble 360
(Tim Horton piano,
Benjamin Nabarro, Claudia Ajmone-Marsan violins,
Ruth Gibson viola, Gemma Rosefield cello)

The Moon is Flashing (2007)
(version for tenor and chamber ensemble, 2018)
7. The Moon is Flashing (text: Howard Skempton)
8. A Day in 3 Wipes (text: Chris Newman)
9. Snake (text: D.H. Lawrence)
James Gilchrist tenor
Ensemble 360
(Matthew Hunt clarinet, Benjamin Nabarro violin,
Gemma Rosefield cello, Tim Horton piano)

10. Eternity’s Sunrise (2003)
Ensemble 360
(Daniel Pailthorpe flute, Matthew Hunt clarinet, Lucy Wakeford harp,
Benjamin Nabarro, Claudia Ajmone-Marsan violins,
Ruth Gibson viola, Gemma Rosefield cello)

All première recordings
Produced by Tim Oldham • co-produced by Music the Round
Engineered by Phil Rowlands
24bit, 96kHz hi-resolution recording and mastering
Booklet notes by Howard Skempton
Artwork by David Murphy (FHR)

Press Quotes

“…The performances on this disc are uniformly excellent… It’s engrossing. A superb anthology.” (The Arts Desk)

“Williams, a fine composer himself, has proved adept at contemporary song, and finds pathos in this extended vocal work… the surprise ending is highly effective.” (performance ***** / recording **** BBC Music Magazine)

“Does it all work? Very much so…. Is it recommended? Indeed… from the always enterprising First Hand Records” (Arcana)

“Howard Skempton continues to compose music that is fresh and exciting” (Lark Reviews)

“Skempton’s sparse, economical setting of Man and Bat flutters with nervy energy, with Williams a relatable and often witty protagonist; another of Lawrence’s animal poems, Snake, is given expansive treatment in the chamber version of The Moon is Flashing (originally scored for full orchestra), the narrator’s conflicted emotions and eventual crisis of conscious beautifully conveyed by James Gilchrist” (Presto Classical)

“These are lovely, subtle works, and I hope that Skempton finds a broad audience on both sides of the Atlantic. Listeners who appreciate the music of Gavin Bryars probably will respond to Skempton as well.” (Fanfare Magazine)