British composer Mark-Anthony Turnage is not only one of contemporary music's most vital voices but also a rarity in that he has been able to incorporate influences from jazz into a potent, persuasive

British composer Mark-Anthony Turnage is not only one of contemporary music's most vital voices but also a rarity in that he has been able to incorporate influences from jazz into a potent, persuasive language for the concert hall. After a lauded series of orchestral and midsized ensemble recordings for EMI and Decca in the mid- and late '90s, he hasn't been heard from much on disc lately, despite a spate of new pieces. The enterprising Black Box label helps rectify that, with this essential set of chamber works. Mining an elegiac vein—one closer to the archetypal English idiom than any previous Turnage collection—Music to Hear boasts the expert Nash Ensemble, with clarinet, cello, and piano predominating. An Invention on "Solitude" and Cortege for Chris (the latter since incorporated into Turnage's latest opera, The Silver Tassie) are among the blue-hued gems. Black Box is distributed in the U.S. by Harmonia Mundi and in the U.K. by Select.—BB

for peace and comfort, consider this album musical balm.—DEP