This new release by Kate Whitley in NMC’s Debut Discs series comprises a wide-ranging repertoire – from piano miniatures and chamber works to a concerto and the album title track for children’s choir and The Multi-Story Orchestra. With lyrics by poet Sabrina Mahfouz that imagine a world which ‘beats with beauty’ and cautions against human abuse of nature around us, I am I say is performed by soprano Sarah-Jane Lewis, bass Ashley Riches and a choir made up of children from three South London primary schools.
The wildly expressive Viola Concerto was Kate’s first orchestral work and was written for Shiry Rashkovsky when they were both students. Five Piano Pieces, recorded here by pianist Rolf Hind, is made up of five self-contained movements – declamatory, spacious, aggressive, sad and triumphant – each comprising repeated sections evoking a different and distinct mood. Three Violin and Piano Pieces is inspired by Janáček’s Viola Sonata and has a similarly tense and fragmentary character, with beautiful intertwined dialogue between both instruments and Duo for Violin and Viola was written for a choreography inspired by a sculpture called Wrestlers by Henri Gaudier Brzeska.