In There Is No Love, Davies, Sylvian and Wastell offer a sparse and brooding setting of Bernard Marie Koltès’ text – part of a longer play from 1985 - in which its two characters, named only the Dealer and Buyer, are barely more than ciphers, their ghostly figures enacting a mysterious negotiation in a crepuscular world where emotional engagement has departed in place of commodified exchange (“There is no love”.) What, exactly, is being bought and sold is never revealed, yet Sylvian’s careful enunciation bristles with implicit violence and desire.
Jordi Savall's exemplary performance of Handel's Water Music and Music for the Royal Fireworks is among the finest available on disc: refined and precise, but very big, with blood-stirring grandeur. This is just the kind of extroverted, rousing presentation that best highlights the music's open-air ceremonial function. Savall's Le Concert des Nations is essentially a chamber orchestra with double or triple winds, but the sound he elicits from the group is majestic and surprisingly powerful. The playing is crisp and the rhythmic articulation bracing, but the sound is never brash. In fact, more often than not it is seductively sensual, a heady integration of precision and supple, shapely phrasing. Handel left no authoritative edition of the score of Water Music and it has traditionally been divided into three suites, but Savall reorders the material into two suites, a decision that makes more sense in terms of key relationships and that sounds entirely satisfying.