Since Westminster Mass (2000) established Roxanna Panufnik’s firm place among today’sleading British composers, she has often been celebrated for her choral music. Her instrumental and chamber works, however, are equally striking, filled with dazzling imagination and poetic lightness of touch. Her latest album Heartfelt encompasses compassion, tragedy and irresistible humour, while demonstrating her passion for exploring diverse musical cultures, from East Sussex to Myanmar.
Featuring a stellar line-up of leading British soloists (including soprano Mary Bevan, pianist Charles Owen and baritone Roderick Williams) and led by the Sacconi Quartet, the title work includes a musical translation of the heartbeat of a young European Brown Bear named Albie: captured by a digital stethoscope, Bristol Zoological Society’s Wild Place Project was generously able to send Panufnik a recording of Albie’s heartbeat whilst he underwent a small surgical procedure, the anaesthetic possibly resembling the bear’s hibernation. Albie himself is pictured on the album’s front cover.