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MANDALA 3 - music by Nicola LeFanu & David Lumsdaine

Two composers whose careers each stretch over 40 years and have been married for many years too; their music is very different but each derives inspiration in different ways from nature and wildlife. This album features Gemini, an ensemble with longstanding links to both composers and has been issued to celebrate David Lumsdaine's 85th birthday and Nicola LeFanu's 70th.

The album also features soprano Sarah Leonard in two vocal items and pianist Aleksander Szram in Mandala 3.

"Artistic Quality: Outstanding; Technical quality : Excellent” (Audiophile Sound, Italy)

"intriguing and enlightening" (BBC Music Magazine)


AUDIO SAMPLE: Mandala 3 - part 2 extract

dealer release date: February 17, 2017





CD program:
Nicola LeFanu:
Invisible Places
Trio II: Song for Peter
David Lumsdaine:
fire in leaf and grass
Mandala 3
review extracts: for full reviews click here

“ Nicola LeFanu's Invisible Places is a magical work. The language is modernistic, but hardly off-putting. There is much in the pages of this score that is quite lovely. David Lumsdaine's ‘fire in leaf and grass' is beautiful. [Song for Peter] explores the words with great effect. It is haunting and quite unforgettable in its impact. There is a powerful enchantment [in Mandala 3]... I feel that it is an important work. The performance of all four works is excellent. This is a fascinating release from Métier... this album is exceptional in the presentation of interesting, moving and often downright gorgeous music. ” - John France (MusicWeb)

“Listening to the disc is something like being party to an intimate, intelligent and far-ranging conversation among old friends. Nicola LeFanu is renowned for works of imaginative beauty... David Lumsdaine's Mandala 3... proves a gloriously strange and moving piece.. affecting and mysterious. [An] intriguing and enlightening disc. Performance XXXX Recording XXXX." - Kate Wakeling (BBC Music Magazine)

“ Well performed by the chamber ensemble Gemini. [Mandala 3] is an eerie, masterful work both with Bach both inside it as it were, and outside of it looking in... it is a joy to hear. "Mandala 3" makes this program very desirable; the other works give much contrasting interest. In all the album provides much pleasure and a good taste of what Lumsdaine and LeFanu have been doing. I am glad to have it to repeat the experience, probably many times. Very recommended.” - Grego Edwards (Gapplegate Classical Modern Music)

“[Invisble Places] is a work that takes the listener on a tremendous journey, packing so much in its sixteen minutes. All three performers are quite superb in this hauntingly intense work (Trio II). [Mandala 3] is a remarkable, tantalising piece full of wonderful ideas. All of the performances are superb; the recording is excellent as are the notes from the composers that include full English texts within a nicely illustrated booklet all of which makes this new release highly recommendable.” - Bruce Reader (The Classical Reviewer)

“This disc showcases some significant music by two major contemporary composers. It also showcases a series of enduring relationships, that between Gemini and the composers, and the fact that Lumsdaine and LeFanu are married. The various players of Gemini along with their guests give powerful and committed performances.” - Star rating: 4.0 - Robert Hugill (Planet Hugill)

“This disc enterprisingly combines two pieces by Elizabeth Maconchy's daughter Nicola LeFanu with two by her husband David Lumsdaine – a welcome juxtaposition even if the music of the two composers is not conspicuously similar in style. I find it difficult to imagine that this music could be better performed than here. The playing here [in Mandala 3] is superlative. All the recordings, like the performances themselves, are clear and present.” - Paul Corfield Godfrey (MusicWeb)

“Lumsdaine and LeFanu clearly like the imagery and while they might be talking about the literal universe, the music circles a more central theme, whether it's a clarinet linking up discrete pieces of music in the opening track or questioning the centre of the music in the title track. It doesn't sound like the work of veterans, rather the work of rebellious youngsters. It is “modern”... but then again, it's not harsh— and there are some gentle, even beautiful moments.” – Jeremy Condliffe (The Chronicle)

“Among the four works, the first and last are definitely those that strike most decidedly; it's worth mentioning all the performers, starting with soprano Sarah Leonard. For lovers of contemporary music. Artistic Quality: Outstanding; Technical quality : Excellent” - Andrea Bedetti (Audiophile Sound)

“[Mandala 3] is powerful music, an intense and absorbing work which receives virtuosic performances. Soprano Sarah Leonard, one of Britain's most respected and versatile artists,a masterly performance [in the vocal works]. Superb writing for the cello and clarinet showcases the considerable skills of Sophie Harris and Ian Mitchell. Caroline Balding and David Angel (violins), Yuko Inoue (viola) and Jo Cole (cello) give outstanding performances. The excellent booklet that accompanies this CD is full of information. All in all, an impressive production.” - Gwen Bennett (Loudmouth – Music Trust of Australia)