The most interesting sound on When You Left The Fire, the achingly lush, understated debut from Canadian chamber-folk ensemble The Wilderness of Manitoba, doesn’t come from an instrument at all or even from a voice.
It’s from a furnace, faintly humming in the background on a few tracks and detectible only by the most sharp-eared of listeners. It’s a place marker, if you will, of the home the band members shared and used for recording.
Recorded in the dead of a Toronto winter in a church and the basement of the band’s house, the band note that “it’s a record meant to be heard in a cozy, confined space, preferably with a roaring fire nearby.”
While the band evokes a timeless sound, its sense of storytelling is equally timeless. “We want to engage the listener for the entire time the record runs – all the way through,” singer and multi-instrumentalist Stefan Banjevic says. “That’s how I like to listen to records.”
The LSO Live recording this month is Bruckner’s Symphony No 4 conducted by Bernard Haitink.
“The fourth symphony is a gift for any conductor who relishes a large orchestral palette. For Bernard Haitink, Bruckner is something of a speciality and his management of the huge orchestra is miraculous. Whilst an apprentice might struggle with Bruckner’s forces, particularly a potentially dominant brass section, Haitink gives a masterclass in orchestral balance. He also paces it brilliantly.
The stars of this Bruckner fourth are undoubtedly the orchestral players, particularly the brass and the LSO’s principal horn David Pyatt, who gives a stunning rendition of the opening. The climax of the first movement and the bursts of brass in the fourth are shattering. This really is a fourth symphony to share with the neighbours. But not too loud too late at night!”
James Mallinson, LSO Live producer.
Both these recordings are available now from Society of Sound