Contrary to what her name might suggest, composer Lydia Kakabadse was born in England, but of Russian-Georgian and Austrian-Greek parentage. Admired and well known in her home country, she is practically unknown here [in Italy] so this recording, which collects together several of her chamber works, is a useful calling card to introduce her in our country.
The works here boast styles recalling the musical traditions of the Middle East and Greece, especially in regard to popular dances (such as Dance Sketches ,which like most works here is for violin, viola, cello and double bass). However, there are also occasional flashes of the minimalism of Steve Reich and Philip Glass, and they show great attention to spirituality that is explicit in Cantus Planus, and forms a sort of organic root. These works are relatively simple harmonically and melodically (and to a certain extent repetitive in nature) and are also suitable for enjoying as background.
There is nothing to criticize the interpretation by the four members of Sound Collective or the mezzo-soprano Jess Dandy, given of course the ease of their approach and commitment.
The recording was made in the church (not cathedral) of St. Paul by Michael Ponder. Spatially, reproduction is good with an airy, fast sound for this deep quartet. Good dynamics, based largely on microdynamics as well as other audio parameters.
Overall technical quality 4
Andrea Bedetti (May 2017) (translation by Stephen Sutton)