Personalities | Mark-Anthony Turnage | Contemporary | Classical
Turnage studied with Knussen at the Royal College of Music and later at the Tanglewood Music Center with Henze, who secured for him his first operatic commission for Greek, a setting of Steven Berkoff’s modern retelling of the Oedipus myth in London’s East End. Like his first major orchestral work, Night Dances (1980–81), much of his work of the 1990s is infused with jazz, especially Blood on the Floor (1993–96) and Scorched (1996–2002), both collaborations with guitarist John Scofield and drummer Peter Erskine. His writing took a more lyrical, nostalgic turn with his second full-length opera, The Silver Tassie (1997–99), based on Seán O’Casey’s play, but the jazz and blues influences took centre stage once more in his Royal Opera commission Anna Nicole (2008–10), based on the life of US Playboy model Anna Nicole Smith, also seen in Dortmund and New York.
Greek, soloists, Greek Ensemble (cond) Richard Bernas (Decca)
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