The Last Island – Hebrides Ensemble / Peter Maxwell-Davies (Delphian Records)

Why did you decide to record this disc?

I decided to record this disc to put on record the respect and gratitude to Max for a lifetime of sharing wonderful music with us all.

It was obviously an important project for you – what made it so special?

It was made special because so many of the pieces on the disc had been specially written for us, a thrilling experience, or had never been recorded before. Max gave the programme his seal of approval, and in my opinion, the music is of the highest inspirational quality.

Recording and live performance are quite different experiences.  How would you describe the differences between performing this work live and recording it?

Live performance has the thrill/terror of the unknown and is gone in a moment with the possibility to build on and develop the experience, recording offers the opportunity of a second chance but you are attached to that particular version for ever.

Do you have any other recordings planned?

Yes. Following our Delphian Records series of music written for us by Scottish and Scottish-based composers, James MacMillan then Sir Peter Maxwell Davies, we are currently recording the music of another eminent and wonderful composer namely Nigel Osborne. Very different from our other discs but music of the highest integrity and quality.

What is the recording that you would most like to make?  The dream disc…

The dream disc is the disc we are making at any particular time. All three of these recent discs, although we have recorded several other very important discs in our twenty-five years, stand out as part of the strong legacy I hope Hebrides Ensemble will leave for the  inspiration, the provocation and the enjoyment of our listeners and future performers.




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