RECORDINGS of church bells from across Scotland feature in Martin Suckling’s atmospheric new work, Meditation (after Donne), commissioned by the SCO to mark the centenary of the 1918 Armistice. Taking John Donne’s plea for a shared humanity in his Meditation XVII for inspiration, Suckling beautifully evokes the conflicting emotions that peace brings. Keening strings and the mournful wail of an oboe are united by the solemn tolling of the bells which segue into bird song in the final bars of this moving elegy.
— Susan Nickalls