5-star CD Review for Game of Attrition
Sierra: Moler; Piano Concerto: Art of War; Game of Attrition; Aquilo
Huw Watkins (piano), BBC National Orchestra of Wales / Jac van Steen
Bridge BRIDGE 9414
This second volume of music by American-born, London-based Arlene Sierra substitutes orchestral works for the chamber music focus of the first, courtesy of long-time champions Jac van Steen and the BBC National Orchestra of Wales. ...Game of Attrition (2009) is an evocative, otherworldly duel between instrumental groupings playing in the same register. The two-movement piano concerto Art of War (2010) is as pugilistic as its title implies, Huw Watkins tightening and uncoiling the solo line against lowering orchestral forces in a tense battle of wills. Aquilo (2001) takes its title from an ancient name for the Northeast wind. It’s a work of small, initially tentative accretions incrementally coalescing into a swirling, howling maelstrom, and a magnificent encapsulation of Sierra’s painterly facility for creating memorable images. Excellent performances and sound.
–Michael Quinn, Classical Ear