Dove: Run to the Edge; The Ringing Isle; Hojoki (An Account of my Hut); Airport Scenes; Gaia Theory

Reviewed on Thu 27 Jun, 2019

Taken from Dove’s 2006 opera Flight, the incident-filled Airport Scenes is dispatched with appropriately fleet animation.

The meat on the bone in this collection of Jonathan Dove’s orchestral music is the dramatic cantata for countertenor, Hojoki (An Account of my Hut). A marvellously intricate, bold collage of images and emotions setting a text by the 13th-century poet Kamo no Chōmei, it recalls a series of environmental disasters from the perspective of an aged hermit’s mountain dwelling. Perfumed with Japanese accents, Dove’s orchestration is strong on evocative imagery and poetic details and played with moving precision by the BBC Philharmonic, Lawrence Zazzo providing a still, humane centre to the enveloping maelstrom. Taken from Dove’s 2006 opera Flight, the incident-filled Airport Scenes is dispatched with appropriately fleet animation, Run to the Edge stepping up a gear, The Ringing Isle a rich exercise in imagery and allusion realised with compelling economy. Premiered at the 2014 BBC Proms, the three-part Gaia Theory teems with ideas and effects, all superbly realised under Timothy Redmond’s articulate, authoritative baton.
–Michael Quinn