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Judith Weir’s appointment as Master of the Queen’s Music in succession to Peter Maxwell Davies is welcome news: a composer of integrity, she communicates intelligently with different audiences and ages. This timely release of The Vanishing Bridegroom (1990), her most successful opera, underscores her gift for concision, ambiguity and sound-pictures of sophisticated lyricism.

A family saga of three interlocked tales lasting just 90 minutes, it includes a big commentary role for chorus, some wonderfully evocative orchestral passages and a ravishing bride’s lament – sung by Ailish Tynan, in a 2008 concert performance conducted by Martyn Brabbins. Anna Stéphany, Andrew Tortise and Owen Gilhooly provide strong support.

Judith Weir

The Vanishing Bridegroom

BBC Symphony Orchestra & BBC Singers/Martyn Brabbins

(NMC) 2 CDs

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