A large-scale composition for improvisers, big band & chamber ensemble. Big is beautiful in this instance....
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"The lifetime masterpiece by a major contemporary musician - except, of course, Fell is hopefully going to be delivering much more music to us yet. ****" THE PENGUIN GUIDE TO JAZZ ON CD
"Two hours of music, 42 musicians, one mad genius at its centre. I am starting to believe that Simon H. Fell is one of the most important composers alive, and releases like this just make the case more cut-and-dried by the minute." Richard Cochrane RESONANCE
"Composition No.30, which represents Fell's third 'Compilation' for large ensemble, is, in my view, an important monument in the history of late 20th Century music. In this single piece one finds not only Ives, Webern, Cage, Ligeti, Partch, and Boulez, but also Ellington, Mingus, Sousa, Sun Ra, and even a little urban blues. It's as if all of Braxton's varied and copious output were microscoped into one audacious work for large ensemble. Fell seems to me to have created a piece of music on the level of Boulez' Pli Selon Pli and Ives' Holidays Symphony. It's what Bernstein and Berio may have been trying (unsuccessfully) to do with their Mass and Sinfonia (respectively), and what Ornette Coleman and Butch Morris are striving for in Skies of America and in countless large ensemble "conductions." Fell's Composition No.30 for Improvisers, Big Band and Chamber Ensemble is nothing less than a summing up and distillation of the experimental strains of Western music at the end of the millennium. It's a resounding success. I'm inclined to think that Fell has exaggerated the import of adherence to ex ante mathematical prescriptions in this work. Fell may be too humble to believe it, but the credit lies not in the numbers or even the stars, but in himself (and a few of his wonderful colleagues): together they have produced a modern masterpiece. Composition No. 30 should not only be considered as one of the top ten recordings of the year, but (move over all you Cardews, Birtwistles and Ferneyhoughs!) as one of the most important musical works to come out of Britain since the Sixties." Walter Horn CADENCE
"Listening to this music, I feel as if it is an inexhaustible document - that there is more substance, more happening than I could ever take in. Even in the most abstract of sections, there is an underlying sense of logic. This is truly a land-mark recording in contemporary music" Tom Pratt SIGNAL TO NOISE
A Cadence record of the year (1998)
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