Pinturas de Tamayo is the result of American composer Steven Stucky's encounter with the art of the Mexican painter Rufino Tamayo. Initially struck by the painting 'The Great Galaxy' - reproduced on the cover of this CD - he chose this and four other paintings as his points of departure for a five-movement suite, which although it is far from pictorial certainly offers as much colour and poetry as the paintings themselves. In Spirit Voices for percussion and orchestra, Stucky has instead explored mythical beings from around the world, including Coyote, the trickster god of the Navajo Indians, mountain goblins of Japanese folk culture, and the Scottish bean nighe, a female wraith portending death. Written for the performers on this disc, the score consists of seven movements in which the percussionist sometimes plays a soloistic role, and in others is integrated into the orchestra. Closing the disc is Stucky's Second Concerto for Orchestra for which he received the 2005 Pulitzer Prize in Music. It was written for the Los Angeles Philharmonic and its music director Esa-Pekka Salonen, a team that Stucky worked closely with over a long period of time. While the Concerto is not based on any extra-musical images, it is very much a result of this collaboration, which Stucky signals both with musical references and in the title of the first movement: 'Overture (with Friends)'. The present recording is the first of all of these works, and was made in the presence of the composer. Singapore Symphony Orchestra and Lan Shui have appeared on a number of highly acclaimed discs for BIS, most recently a performance of Rachmaninov's Second Symphony which caused the reviewers to describe the orchestra as 'wonderful' (klassik-heute.de), 'world-class' (International Record Review) and 'sensational' (Scherzo). A previous collaboration between the orchestra and the celebrated percussionist Evelyn Glennie entitled Oriental Landscapes contains three works for percussion and orchestra described by one reviewer as 'ideal vehicles for Glennie's familiarly faultless musicianship.'
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