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Recordings of the Month


Conner Riddle Songs

Rodzinski Sibelius

Of Innocence and Experience


Symphonies 1, 2, 3



Aho Symphony 5

Dowland - A Fancy


Rachmaninov_ Babayan



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Shredding Glass
(2004) [10:08]
Czech Philharmonic Orchestra/Robert Ian Winstin
rec. Czech Radio Studio, Studio 1, Prague
RAIN WORTHINGTON no number [10:08]

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Yet Still Night
?a nocturne for orchestra (2001) [6:02]
Czech Philharmonic Orchestra/Robert Ian Winstin
rec. Czech Radio Studio, Studio 1, Prague
RAIN WORTHINGTON no number [6:02]
Experience Classicsonline

It抯 always a real pleasure to discover a composer whose work is new to you, whose work speaks to the senses and is packed with real emotion.

Shredding Glass is Ms Worthington抯 response to the atrocity of 9/11, but it抯 not a wild, violent, 揝omebody must pay?kind of piece; it抯 about the mind-numbing unbelievability of the situation. It抯 when you stand open-mouthed, wide-eyed, and speechless trying to take in what has happened.

This music is in a world of its own. It has an original voice and is quite specific in what it has to say. Certainly there抯 much tragedy in the music, but Ms Worthington is no spectator here, she is consumed with what has happened. The affront is personal and she obviously felt the need to share her feelings.

Using a relatively small orchestra ?no trumpets, and the most subtle percussion ?she allows us to be part of the outrage, but not in any tub-thumping way, more in an intellectual and intelligent way than merely hang 抏m high rhetoric. Worthington understands exactly how to convey painstaking agony without ever lapsing into clich?or being maudlin.

This is a very beautiful work, which weaves intricate patterns of sound in an hallucinogenic haze. It抯 beautifully orchestrated, the material is well handled and it creates a dreamscape of exquisite allure. There are no heroes here, just we impotent onlookers.

Shredding Glass makes for a superb disk, and one not to be missed. Well worth investigating.

Not everything is cosy and nice in the nocturne Yet Still Night. There抯 a very disturbing undercurrent to this music. Like the Swedish composer Allan Pettersson, Worthington has achingly difficult things to say to us, and her use of chromaticism, especially downward chromatic movement, to convey anguish, is very effective. Yet Still Night starts as a kind of starry night, the wrong notes in both harmony and melody only serving to show that there are clouds on the horizon. It抯 a child抯 vision, tempered by a child抯 knowledge of the Bogeyman. There抯 a monstrous clock in the middle, somehow eating away at time itself.

In its short playing time, Yet Still Night manages to covey a lifetime of horrors, doubts perhaps, and when it stops ?it doesn抰 end, it simply stops ?we抮e left none the wiser. Disquiet is obviously Worthington抯 aim, and she succeeds superbly. This is a marvellous piece, with subtle orchestration and a bold wash of melody and harmony. I am excited by it, and I hope you will investigate it because, as they say, it抯 well worth it. The sound is brilliantly clear and precise.

Bob Briggs

































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