William Sweeney: Tree o’ Licht

Robert Irvine (cello)
Erkki Lahesmaa (cello)
Fali Pavri (piano)

Preview available. Click track number to listen

Both musically impassioned and socially engaged, William Sweeney’s music is at its most eloquent when voiced by that most human of instruments, the cello. The player navigates a stormy electronic landscape in the Borges-inspired The Poet Tells of his Fame, while Schumann lies behind the powerfully argued Sonata for Cello and Piano, recipient of a 2011 BASCA British Composer Award. The Sonata bears a joint dedication to Delphian artist Robert Irvine and to Erkki Lahesmaa – ‘keepers’, as Sweeney calls them, ‘of the cello’s inner voice’ – and Irvine is joined by his Finnish colleague here in the 2008 duo The Tree o’ Licht, in which Gaelic psalmody is transmuted into deepest instrumental expressivity.

‘A style that seems to manage to have it both ways, preserving the expressive possibilities and archetypes of the Scottish folk tradition within an idiom that can call on techniques and technology from the whole modernist tradition since 1945 … Simple and beautifully achieved’
— The Guardian, July 2013

‘A distinctively Scottish feel, beautifully created by the two cellos, drawing one in immediately with its entrancing atmosphere … This is an extremely rewarding release of works that are often quite beautiful and affecting’
— The Classical Reviewer, September 2013

  • Recording venue(s): Concert Hall, University of Glasgow
  • Recording dates: 2-3 November & 13-14 December 2012
  • Physical format: Jewel case
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Number of tracks: 4
  • Total playing time: 1:00:46

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