James Dillon: The Book of Elements

Est Delivery:5-15 days
Availability:On order

Media: CD
Genre: Classical
Catalogue Number: NMCD091
Label: NMC
Released: June 2004

This complete premiere recording of James Dillon's technical and intellectual tour de force, the five volumes of The Book of Elements, is performed by Noriko Kawai, for whom Volume 2 was written.

James Dillon was born in Glasgow on 29 October 1950. He first became involved in music through playing in traditional Scottish pipe bands and in rock groups. He studied Music, Acoustics and Linguistics in London, but received no formal training in composition.

Dics 1

Disc 2

Dillon's name is commonly associated with the so-called New Complexity movement. This convenient label has served to describe a group of young British composers who came to prominence in the early 1980s and who are seen as having certain ideological similarities with two already well-established figures, Brian Ferneyhough and Michael Finnissy. However, the narrow definition "complex", implying density, abstraction and even obfuscation, fails to recognise the extraordinary range of expression inherent in James Dillon's work. His music is the product of a fertile creative imagination, of a multi- faceted musical personality which has produced works as diverse as the abrasive octet "...Once Upon a Time", the seamless "a cappella" choral piece "Viriditas" (reminiscent of Renaissance archetypes), and the multi-layered "Introitus", a compact web of string polyphonies.

'one of the great moments of early 21st-century music.' (Gramaphone Magazine)


  1. Book of Elements, The: Vol 1
  2. Book of Elements, The: Vol 2
  3. Book of Elements, The: Vol 3

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Scottish Music Centre is supported by the Scottish Arts Council Scottish Music Centre is supported by the IMC Scottish Music Centre is supported by IAMIC

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