Review of LNT133: Elizabeth Maconchy: Orchestral Music
Andrew Clements, The Guardian
Though it's her 13-string quartets that form the core of Elizabeth Maconchy's achievement, she composed a considerable amount of orchestral music too, most of which has been ignored since her death in 1994 at the age of 87. Odaline de la Martinez's very polished collection with the excellent BBC Scottish Symphony ranges right across Maconchy's composing career. There's the Concertino for Piano and Chamber Orchestra and the four-movement suite The Land, to represent its precocious beginnings – both were first performed in 1930, and composed while she was still studying at the Royal College of Music with Vaughan Williams, where she was trying to reconcile that English influence with modernism in general, and Hindemith in particular. From 1954 there's the weighty and ambitious Symphony for Double String Orchestra, with its wonderfully spacious and poised final passacaglia, and the much more astringent and pithy Music for Wind and Brass of 1966.