Pandora’s Last Gift – Chamber Music by Christopher Wright


Catalogue No: MSV 28547
EAN/UPC: 809730854729
Release Date: September 2014
Discs: 1
Total Playing Time: 77:50

This album is released in part to celebrate the 60th birthday of the composer in 2014, alongside two CDs to be issued by Nimbus/Lyrita and several concerts around the UK. Wright is one of the growing band of English composers becoming increasingly popular as a writer of new but generally traditionally constructed works which appeal to both new-music connoisseurs and a wider range of music lovers. Performed by many of Northern England’s leading orchestral and chamber musicians who have come together to create this varied and excellent recital.

Track Listing

    Christopher Wright:

  1. Wind Quintet (11:37)
  2. Spring’s Garden (4:15)
  3. Orfordness (9:29)
  4. Capriccio (9:08)
  5. I. Spirit of the Dance – I. Rejouissance (2:36)
  6. II. Spirit of the Dance – II. Air (4:18)
  7. III. Spirit of the Dance – III. Tarantella (2:40)
  8. The Long Wait (Elegy) (9:35)
  9. I. In Celebration – I. Allegro vivace (1:26)
  10. II. In Celebration – II. Misterioso (3:30)
  11. III. In Celebration – III. Presto con forza (2:07)
  12. Helter Skelter (3:21)
  13. I. Concertino – I. Allegro ritmico (4:04)
  14. II. Concertino – II. Tranquillo (5:29)
  15. III. Concertino – III. Allegro vivace (3:12)


International Record Review

All the performances are excellent, and the booklet notes by the composer are both informative and personal. I look forward very much to hearing more of Wright’s music and I recommend this disc to anyone with an interest in music that is rooted in a tonal language that is never vapid or sentimental, but often imaginative and always expertly crafted.

” —Nigel Simeone

[Wright’s] tone colors in the Wind Quintet remind me of autumn leaves that glisten as they fall to earth in the rain. Although this disc is about as full as technically possible, the sound is clear and the music interesting. Above all, it is wonderfully well played.

” —Maria Nockin

The CD is an excellent production that combines a judicious selection of chamber works with excellent performances by all the players. The sound quality is ideal and gives the best possible opportunity for listeners to approach these unfamiliar works. The liner-notes are detailed and useful as well as being legible. Christopher Wright’s musical style can easily be categorised as ‘largely tonal with atonal flavourings’. It is never insipid, always displays interest and clear evidence of controlled development. It is approachable, even if occasionally a little challenging. I have found nothing that is not written with consummate skill and not inconsiderable inspiration.

” —John France

This disc of Wright’s chamber music… is full of concise, carefully and skillfully designed pieces … friendly and unchallenging. The performances suit the music well. Listeners looking for a pleasant divertissement may find something they like here.

” —Art Lange
The Chronicle

The sound is firmly English pastoral in sound ([the composer] lives in Suffolk and you can hear the county’s influence), while sounding modern, i.e. it’s modem music written with an eye on people who like the traditional. While it’s fundamentally accessible, there’s a lot of variation in tone and delivery.

” —Jeremy Condliffe