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Lyrita Releases Major New Disc of Nicholas Maw’s Works with the BBC National Orchestra of Wales and William Boughton

May. 01, 2020

Lyrita Releases Major New Disc of Nicholas Maw’s Works with the BBC National Orchestra of Wales and William Boughton

A new recording of music by Nicholas Maw has just been released on Lyrita Records, performed by William Boughton and the BBC National Orchestra of Wale, and sheds important light on the brilliant music of this neglected master. 

The disc features premiere recordings of Maw’s Voices of Memory and Spring Music alongside a new account of his significant 27-minute Sonata for solo violin by Harriet Mackenzie.

In his review for Gramophone, Guy Rickards notes,

'This is a terrific disc. It is a little over ten years since the death of Maw, one of the most gifted post-war British composers… Voices of Memory (1995) is one of the hidden gems in Maw’s output, a variation set written to celebrate the tercentenary of Purcell’s death. The sheer brilliance of the compositional ingenuity (on a theme from his own Life Studies rather than Purcell) and acuity of orchestration should place it in every British orchestra’s repertoire, as this coruscating performance under William Boughton trumpets loud and clear.’

A bright and boldly contoured curtain raiser, Maw’s Spring Music (1983) burgeons with lyrical vitality. Lasting fourteen minutes and scored for a modest orchestra (double wind, four horns, three trumpets, three trombones and tuba, timpani, harp and strings), the work takes its cue from the well-known line of Dylan Thomas that for its composer seems to sum up the energy and beauty of spring: ‘The force that through the green fuse drives the flower.’

Buy the recording here or listen online

(Voices of Memory: Var. 4, Molto tranquillo/Nicholas Maw/BBC National Orchestra of Wales/William Boughton, conductor)

To learn more about Nicholas Maw, visit:

Nicholas Maw
Sonata (1997)
for solo violin

Spring Music
for orchestra

Voices of Memory
for orchestra