Philharmonia Orchestra of London, London Sinfonietta Voices, Robert Hall Lewis
Robert Hall Lewis (b 1926) wrote music of an overtly philosophical bent－decidedly challenging but accessible. The factors that any late-twentieth-century composer must face in order to do this are many: Just as the medieval view of the firmament as a huge dome with the throne of God as its apex is impossible after Einstein, so the harmonic certainties of Bach (or Schubert) are impossible after the Second Viennese School. Time, moreover－stretched to the maximum by Wagner, condensed to the minimum by Webern－has also proven a more elastic medium than was thought at the beginning of this century.
The four ensemble works presented here, all written in the decade of the eighties, are illustrative of Lewis's personal style－a synthesis of inventive textures, unusual and often exotic timbres, rich harmony, and complex rhythms.