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Classical Music Review

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My Symphonic Poems
Orchestral Images


Composer: Mark John McEncroe
Conductor: Anthony Armore
Performed by: The Janáček Philharmonic Orchestra
Label: Navona Records
RRP: £13.99
Release Date: 12 October 2018

Navona Records release Mark John McEncroe's My Symphonic Poems, a two-disc album (10 tracks - 1 hr, 47 min, 11 sec). On each track, McEncroe has crafted a musical painting, a work of art that describes his reflections on the subject of the title. The concepts for these compositions fall into two basic categories. The five selections on the first disc reflect the wonders of the natural world, of bio-diversity, and of the power of the seasons. The second disc features two tracks that also explore ecological terrain. Those are combined with three distinctively introspective compositions which musically portray the joys and difficulties that are a part of daily life...

Ah, another incredibly fine, multilayered album of compositions from Mark John McEncroe (Dark Clouds in Life; Musical Images for Piano). This double album contains so many rich and varied themes that it's difficult to know where to start singing its praises.

This is a methodical, beautiful album that has melody and traditional structure at its core - something that is becoming rarer these days, with composers instead branching out to experimental nonsense that for the most part just sounds hideous. Yet again, McEncroe shows that he is a master at bringing to life emotional compositions that will lodge in your heart and touch your soul.

From time to time you'll be reminded of other composers work - a nod here, the use of an instrument there - which, for me helped to make it a more interesting album. I've been playing this for several weeks and I know it's an album I'll be enjoying for years to come.


Darren Rea

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