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MusicPart of Humanities

Southampton Musicians in The Times Top 100

Published: 10 December 2009

CDs of work by three Southampton staff members have been picked for The Times’ 100 best albums of 2009.

Described as ‘the pick of the music releases from pop, rock, world, jazz and classical’ the list includes Michael Finnissy’s Greatest Hits of All Time and Michael Zev Gordon’s On Memory in the Contemporary category, and Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas in a version co-directed by Elizabeth Kenny in the Classical choice.

They appear on the list along with other winners such as Karlheinz Stockhausen, Sir Peter Maxwell Davies, Madness and The Manic Street Preachers. Senior Lecturer Michael Zev Gordon’s On Memory, played by Andrew Zolinsky (NMC D144), reflects on the nature of memory. Many of its twelve movements relate to works of the past, ranging from Couperin and Schumann to Morton Feldman and Bill Evans - ‘all fascinatingly wrought’ according to Paul Driver, writing in the Sunday Times. Professor of Composition Michael Finnissy’s Greatest Hits of All Time draws on Beethoven piano sonatas, Vivaldi’s Four Seasons and Mahler’s Sixth Symphony, as well as Korean music. Finnissy casts all this in four simultaneous layers; the intriguing result is performed by Ensemble Exposé (Metier msv28513). And a new recording of Henry Purcell's opera Dido and Aeneas co-directed by Southampton's Head of Early Music, Elizabeth Kenny, already chosen as Classic FM's CD of the Month and Gramophone Editor's Choice for February 2009, draws on Kenny's research into professional theatrical practice to provide a compelling fresh reading of this famous work. Released on the Chandos label (Chandos Chaconne CHAN0757), the recording features the Choir and Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment and soprano Sarah Connolly as Dido. Classic FM called the disk ‘a Dido of unremitting delight’.

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