Richard Baker: The Tyranny Of Fun

Richard Baker

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Format: CDR

Cat No: NMCD275

Release Date:  15 March 2024

Label:  NMC Recordings

Packaging Type:  Jewel Case

No of Units:  1

Barcode:  5023363027526

Genres:  Classical  

  • Description

    The latest release in NMC's acclaimed Debut Disc series comes from one of the foremost composer-conductors of his generation, Richard Baker. His first full-length portrait album The Tyranny of Fun brings together a collection of Baker's chamber works composed between 1994 and 2022, performed by a varied range of musical forces. Baker's compositions weave a tapestry of eclectic creative catalysts and reference points, often using existing fragments of music, film, or choreography as their starting point. In the liner notes for this album, Steph Power writes that "the music of Richard Baker reveals a refined sensibility deeply engaged with the structures and experience of meaning in contemporary culture". Several works on this new album were born from Baker's close relationship with Birmingham Contemporary Music Group in recent years. The title work is inspired by George Balanchine's ballet La Valse, but adopts the late 70s and early 80s disco of pre-AIDS epidemic New York as its musical material. Also composed against the backdrop of tumultuous world events is the more recent work Motet II for CHROMA Ensemble, which Baker wrote while watching the wave of international protests against structural racism provoked by the murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis from his home in rural Wales. Other focal points on the album include the concertante work Learning to Fly which features the unusual timbre of the basset clarinet played by soloist Oliver Janes, and the short choral work To Keep a True Lent, performed by the Choir of King's College Cambridge under the direction of the late Sir Stephen Cleobury.

    "Another excellent release on the NMC label and certainly a contender for best debut recording by a composer who is finally getting the recognition his music deserves." – Gramophone

    "These eight works demonstrate his gifts as a composer of music that fizzes with a piercing, complex wit. […] an invigorating and imaginative disc, expertly performed and recorded" – BBC Music Magazine, 4 STARS

    "NMC adds to its invaluable Debut Discs series with this timely release devoted to the music of Richard Baker, expertly realized by ensembles and musicians with which has been associated" – Arcana.fm

  • Tracklisting

      Disc 1

      Side 1

      • 1. Crank
      • 2. Motet II: I.
      • 3. Motet II: II.
      • 4. Motet II: III.
      • 5. Motet II: IV.
      • 6. Motet II: V.
      • 7. Motet II: VI.
      • 8. The Tyranny of Fun: I.
      • 9. The Tyranny of Fun: II.
      • 10. Angelus
      • 11. Learning to Fly: I. Boisterous
      • 12. Learning to Fly: II. Somnolent
      • 13. Learning to Fly: III. Suddenly awake
      • 14. To Keep a True Lent
      • 15. Hommagesquisse
      • 16. Hwyl fawr ffrindiau