Unsurprisingly, a nocturnal atmosphere pervades the works assembled here – lullabies old and new – but such is the variety of styles and timbres there is never any danger of monotony. Rather, these are like watercolours rendered in what artists call chromatic greys, with the occasional shower of prismatic hues shining out of the darkness.
Earlier masters include Enescu, Stravinsky, Szymanowski, Sibelius and Ravel, whose exquisite Berceuse sur le nom de Gabriel Fauré opens the program. Of the modern masters, I particularly enjoy Brett Dean’s Berceuse, the violin’s higher register lending it a mysterious, ethereal quality, as well as Kate Moore’s inventive Broken Rosary, which evokes the stringing of beads – the title refers to a rosary belonging to Moore’s late grandmother, which she broke one day as a child.
Other highlights include Peter Adriaansz’s quirky Palindromes Part 3, Kats-Chernin’s cute Lullaby for Nick, which was the first piece she ever wrote, age 7, but which she never wrote down until recently, Cor Fuhler’s 18 Spoonfulls – the music’s units relate to the small mouthfuls one must feed a child (!) – and the lullaby in the form of a passacaglia by Andrew Ford, Cradle Song. Anna McMichael and Tamara Anna Cislowska play warmly, sympathetically and with enormous affection.
A magical release.