In 1991, composers Elena Firsova and Dmitri Smirnov were amongst a small group of composers (including Sofia Gubaidulina) blacklisted in Russia. Firsova and Smirnov fled the country with their two young children and took refuge in the UK. Since then, their daughter, Alissa Firsova, now aged 31, has risen to become one of the most notable stars of the new composing generation working in Britain.
This thought-provoking, colourful collection from one of today’s most individual young composers presents eight of Alissa Firsova’s notable compositions, including her substantial string quartet of 2016, Tennyson Fantasy, commissioned by the Tippett Quartet; two works for clarinet and piano – brilliantly performed by their dedicatee, Mark van de Wiel – and the clarinet Quintet Loss; two sizeable vocal works on the theme of ‘Paradise on Earth’, with the demanding soprano part in Here in Canisy effortlessly despatched by soprano Ellie Laugharne, and bass-baritone Nicholas Crawley making a fine recording debut in Unity; the collection closes with cellist Tim Hugh’s effortless performance of Firsova’s 2014 Fantasy for cello and piano.
Recorded in Alpheton New Maltings, the varied colours and complex textures of this recording demonstrate this new recording hall’s exceptional acoustic, combining striking clarity with warmth.
Extensive presentation includes 48 page booklet with liner note in three languages by composer Alissa Firsova, full texts and six pages of session photos.