Dutton Laboratories CDLX 7159
Paul Archibald, Nicola Eimer, Freya Ritts-Kirby, Benjamin Griffiths, Amy Dickson, The Tippett Quartet and Orchestra Nova, conducted by George Vass.
Cecilia McDowall is another of the new generation of highly communicative musicians who, though often inspired by extramusical influences, favours writing which, without being in any way facile, is brightly cogent, freshly witty and expressive in its own right. She constantly tweaks the ear with her range of spicy rhythms and colours, then suddenly produces a highly atmospheric and grippingly expressive interlude which is just as compelling. Performances here are immaculate, full of life, and above all consistently reveal the composer’s imaginative resource. Not surprisingly Mike Dutton’s recordings are first-class. Well worth exploring if you enjoy a piquant musical vocabulary, underpinned by moments of pure lyricism. The Gramophone 2006