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Martin Suckling: The Tuning

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Delphian Records, 2021

The everyday is transfigured in this intimate collection of chamber music and songs by leading young Scottish composer Martin Suckling – settings for mezzo-soprano and piano of five magical, moonlit poems by Michael Donaghy and a string quintet written in collaboration with the poet Frances Leviston, whose readings of her own texts frame the four movements of a piece which pays dual homage to Schubert and to Emily Dickinson.

Nocturne for violin and cello bears witness to Suckling’s night vigils at the composing desk, setting down his pen as the stillness starts to ripple with birdsong, while the cello solo Her Lullaby is a nostalgic reflection on the early years of parenthood that also displays Suckling’s characteristically refined harmonic palette.

“The string players from Aurora Orchestra render their pieces with no lack of commitment or finesse, while the close-focus sound of perspective annotations leave nothing to be desired.” (Gramophone Magazine)