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My mind immediately jumped to A Mind of Winter, George Benjamin’s setting of Wallace Stevens’s The Snow Man, which would have been a delightfully challenging arrangement for this programme of hivernal songs by (mostly) very young composers. Juice always do exciting and original work, sometimes at the cost of missing the obvious. They come somewhere between art music and the likes of the Unthanks, or even the Roches. Kerry Andrew’s own Apples, Plums, Cherries is a delightful opener and Anna Snow’s arrangement of the Coventry Carol (Lulla Lulla) is a quietly unexpected stunner. The standouts, though, are Phil Maguire’s /SOUCH/DRON/HUM, a virtuosic play on onomatopoeic wind sounds and fx, and (just when you thought you couldn’t take another version of it) Chris Warner’s dark and bitter arrangement of ‘Blow, blow, thou winter wind’ from As You Like It. A winter’s entertainment …

BRIAN MORTON Read the full review on Agora Classica


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