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Peter Maxwell Davies: Linguae Igni; Vesalii Icones; Fantasia on a Ground and Two Pavans ()

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This Naxos release features two works by Peter Maxwell Davies for solo cello and ensemble, Vesalii Icones from 1969 and Lingua Ignis from 2002. The first was written for the London-based Pierrot Ensemble (later renamed the Fires of London) that Maxwell Davies co-directed with Harrison Birtwistle during what was probably the most iconoclastic period of his generally iconoclastic career. Similar in musical style to Eight Songs for a Mad King, written the same year, Vesalii Icones uses a full bag of modernist techniques heavily sprinkled with interjections of Medieval, Renaissance, and Baroque music, as well as enough popular modern dances like the foxtrot to keep the listener constantly off guard. The work is a theater piece and includes a dancer and projections of images of anatomical drawings by Vesalius. The composer insists that the work is not intended to be sacrilegious, but it is structured around the 14 Stations of the Cross, and it's difficult not to hear the startling musical contradictions of... Hide synopsis

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