Birtwistle: Gawain / Tomlinson, Howarth
Angel; Howells; Le Roux; Tomlinson; Royal Opera Chorus; Orchestra of the Royal Opera House; Howarth
Composed by: Birtwistle, Harrison
Gawain is perhaps the most frequently requested of Birtwhistle’s works for CD re-release; formerly available from Collins Classics, NMC now makes this modern classic available once again. Fascination with myth and ritual has influenced many of Harrison Birtwistle’s works. This opera, featuring a libretto by David Harsent and based on the Arthurian legend of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, is full of castles, eerie nocturnal apparitions, evil magical powers, amorous entanglements and a singing decapitated head! A major figure and tour-de-force in the firmament of contemporary British concert music, Harrison Birtwhistle (b. 1934) has, as successfully as any modernist composer similarly disposed, combined a thoroughly contemporary compositional style while also referencing styles, ideas and music from the distant past, such as in the work on these discs and other of his eminent, large scale works. This catalog reappearance is truly a cause for celebration!