Olga Neuwirth’s Orlando was the first work commissioned from a woman by the Vienna Staasoper and caused something of a stir when it made it to the stage in December 2019. Born in 1968 in Graz, Neuwirth is a creative polymath whose approach to art includes a healthy dose of iconoclasm. She’s not just a composer of classical music, but a visual artist and an author as well as you can tell from her insightful sleeve notes. In many ways she was ideally suited to bring Virginia Woolf’s 1928 gender-bending novel to the stage. The Austrian press split down the middle, with the usual howls of conservative outrage and incomprehension on the one side, but this beautifully realised recording should set the record straight: Orlando is a work of considerable genius, a least in parts.

Olga Neuwirth

Neuwirth’s music is outstanding, taking eclecticism to a whole new level, with substantial roles for electric guitar, drum kit and synthesiser blended effortlessly with the standard orchestra. The sounds she draws...