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This disc includes a recording of the world premiere of When Adam Fell at the Barbican. I felt then that that work was unsettlingly diffuse, but on repeated hearing it seems less so. The main work that concerns us here is Marching to Carcassonne (2002), a half-hour ‘serenade for piano and 12 instruments’. The initial pianoless March is decidedly Stravinskian (each time it recurs its duration is halved). The piano only enters at the ensuing Introduction and sometimes seems to be playing more of a concertante than truly solo role thereafter. Peter Serkin is a first rank soloist – luxury casting, one might argue – his primary strength being his clear sensitivity and lightness of touch. The London Sinfonietta plays with expert attunement to Goehr’s glistening soundworld. At times, Goehr’s debt to Schoenberg is marked. This is a live performance from London’s Queen Elizabeth Hall on 22 May 2003.

COLIN CLARKE Read the full review on Agora Classica


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