Peter Maxwell Davies’s visionary music has gained him a knighthood, the prestigious position of Master of the Queen’s Music and a leading position among the foremost composers of our time. The two works on this disc, authoritatively conducted by the composer, show two sides of his remarkable musical imagination. The First Symphony is permeated by the presence of the sea and the haunting landscape of his home in the Orkney Islands, while the vibrant theme and variations Mavis in Las Vegas is an exuberant ‘tribute’ to the glitzy gambling capital of the world, in all its hyper-reality.
Universally acknowledged as one of the foremost composers of our time, Sir Peter Maxwell Davies has made a significant contribution to musical history through his wide-ranging and prolific output. He lives in the Orkney Islands off the north coast of Scotland, where he writes most of his music. His substantial chamber and instrumental catalogue includes the landmark cycle of ten string quartets, the Naxos Quartets, described in the Financial Times as ‘one of the most impressive musical statements of our time’.