NMC Recordings Logo TM 25 years logo
Richard Causton: Millennium Scenes

Nicholas Collon, conductor
Birmingham Contemporary Music Group
Ryan Wigglesworth, conductor
Gerry Cornelius, conductor

NMC D192

D192 Cover
DeBut Disc logo • Debut Discs is a 4-year series in collaboration with BA (Hons) Graphic Design students at Central Saint Martins College of Arts and Design who have designed the cover artwork for the series.

• Debut Discs has the ambassadorial support of Sir Peter Maxwell Davies.

• The first four releases in the series feature the composers Huw Watkins, Dai Fujikura, Sam Hayden and Joseph Phibbs and this year we add another five: Richard Causton, Helen Grime, Larry Goves, Charlotte Bray and Ben Foskett.

“Causton is one of the finest of the new generation of British composers.”   Tim Ashley, The Guardian

Richard Causton studied with Param Vir, with Roger Marsh at the University of York and with Jeremy Dale Roberts at the Royal College of Music.   In 1997 he was awarded the Mendelssohn Scholarship, which enabled him to study with Franco Donatoni at the Scuola Civica in Milan.   Causton taught composition at the Birmingham Conservatoire for several years before taking up the newly-created post of Lecturer in Composition at the University of Cambridge in 2012.

The highly energised title track Millennium Scenes is an anarchic, powerful piece scored for large orchestra plus car horns and whistles, evoking a mood of frenzy and unrest.   Causton frequently employs unusual instruments sometimes exotic, sometimes homemade, like the huge steel tube chimes in The Persistence of Memory: this is a work for 12 players exploring unconventional tunings which create dreamlike textures (the piece was inspired by sounds the composer experienced while bedridden and delirious in Bangalore).   Notturno explores the night landscapes evoked by poet Salvatore Quasimodo, As Kingfishers Catch Fire exploits the colours of flute, clarinet, harp and string quartet and Chamber Symphony, which closes the disc, juxtaposes ideas of the mechanical and natural, partly inspired by the composer's fascination with the writings of William Blake.


  1-12 Millennium Scenes:
Music for Large Orchestra in Two Parts
Part I:
Feroce 244
Largo 043
Dance 137
Interrupted Dance 157
Part II:
Chorale 1 047
Intimo 244
Berceuse 1 227
Grandioso 044
Brutale 045
Chorale 2 025
Berceuse 2 042
Coda 042
Nicholas Collon

13-15 Notturno 1102
I 423
II 317
III 322
Birmingham Contemporary Music Group
Gerry Cornelius

16 As Kingfishers Catch Fire 1046
Birmingham Contemporary Music Group
Gerry Cornelius

17 The Persistence of Memory 1437
Birmingham Contemporary Music Group
Gerry Cornelius

18-19 Chamber Symphony 2342
I 1424
II 918
Birmingham Contemporary Music Group
Ryan Wigglesworth

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