Elis Pehkonen - The Alabaster Box
released 2002 Corinium CD
ELIS PEHKONEN – The Alabaster Box: music to poems by Lorca, Gorbanyevskaya and Pasternak.
RAYMOND BURLEY (guitar) with RICHARD LEIGH HARRIS (piano), HILARY THOMAS (soprano) ANDREE BACK (soprano) TIMOTHY KIPLING (Flute) DANIELLE PERRETT (Harp) and FENELLA HUMPHREYS (violin)
Elis Pehkonen, who is of Finnish extraction, was born in Swaffham, Norfolk in 1942. In 1960 he won a composition scholarship to the Royal College of Music where he studied with Peter Racine Fricker.
He has composed over 150 works spanning a career of 35 years, including recent major choral works Gloria and Ode to St. Cecilia published by Oxford University Press.
Many of his works have a Russian background including two of the works on this CD The Blizzard and the Dark (song-cycle for soprano and piano to poems by the Russian dissident poetess Natalya Gorbanyevskaya) and The Alabaster Box (cantata for soprano and harp - a setting of the Magdalene poems from Doctor Zhivago by Boris Pasternak)
The works on this CD date from early 1980, with the exception of the Romance de la Pena Negra which was composed in 1990. All four pieces reflect the composer's commitment to writing expressive diatonic music.
1 - 2 The Alabaster Box (Soprano and Harp)
3 Romance de la Pena Negra (Ballad of the Black Sorrow)
4 Philomel (Flute and Harp)
5 - 9 The Blizzard and the Dark