OUT NOW: ‘Ursa Minor’ – chamber music of Stuart MacRae
This compelling survey of music by the Scottish composer Stuart MacRae – a fifth instalment in the acclaimed Hebrides Ensemble/Delphian Records series of composer portraits – focuses on works of the last decade while also reaching back to include two pieces from the composer’s mid-twenties.
Reflecting diverse inspirations from nature and myth, it also reveals underlying continuities: a preoccupation, in particular, with questions of scale and perspective. The ancient Greek hero Prometheus receives an unexpectedly intimate portrait, his human aspects to the fore – flawed yet sympathetic. MacRae’s perception of the natural world, meanwhile, extends from the microscopic scale of lichen to the vastness of the night sky, in which the medium of distance transmutes all turmoil into calm.