"Yesterday I listened... today I loved!"
Posted on: 13th May 2012
It’s been an epic few days across the Festival recently, ranging from intimate recitals to transcendental meditative states in Canterbury Cathedral.
Day seven on Thursday saw a lunchtime recital In Praise of Dreams with soprano Rhona McKail and pianist Yshani Perinpanayagam in their lunchtime recital, before the focus shifted out to the Turner Contemporary gallery at Margate for the world premiere of Les Malèdictions d’une Furie, a monodrama by John Croft performed by Loré Lixenberg. Prior to the performance, both Croft and Lixenberg appeared in conversation with Festival Director, Paul Edlin.
Friday’s lunchtime concert was a sonic exploration in the youthful company of the New Perspectives ensemble, in the chamber-ensemble-meets-electronics world of Jonathan Harvey’s Bhakti; young performers from the Royal College of Music, conducted by Timothy Lines, bathed the audience in the rich colours of Harvey’s unique and visionary soundworld. St Gregory’s was full to bursting for the concert, to the extent that festival assistants were having to put out extra chairs as audience members continued to arrive right up until the concert began.
The visionary nature of the day continued into the evening, as Canterbury Cathedral echoed to the sounds of John Tavener’s The Veil of the Temple, an large-scale meditative work for which the composer himself, in frail health, made the pilgrimage to Canterbury. Nigel Short led Tenebrae and members of the English Chamber Orchestra in Tavener’s epic, all-embracing pan-religious odyssey, which after its two-and-three-quarter-hour performance was greeted with rapturous applause. (The composer himself can be seen seated in the front row on the left in the photo below).
Yesterday’s events continued the journey into the stars, with Darrah Morgan Exploding Stars in works for violin and electronics, including the premiere of Jonty Harrisons’ Some of its Parts. Earlier in the morning, composer Frank Lyons ranged freely over an eclectic range of musical styles in a composition workshop. Top-brass came to the Festival in the evening, as the Grimethorpe Colliery Band (wryly observing on Twittter earlier in the day that they were en route to a ‘local gig’) came to the Cathedral with a programme including John McCabe’s Cloudcatcher Fells and an arrangements for brass of Holst’s The Planets, which, in its original incarnation as Paul Edlin observed, remains one of the previous century’s most influential works.
Against the backdrop of all this, the New Music in Britain conference unfolded in a series of papers and talks exploring aspects of the British contemporary musical landscape and papers focusing on key composers including Birtwistle and Maxwell Davies.
And it doesn’t stop there. There are still three days yet to come, with today’s celebration of Worldwide Mother’s Day in a feast of family events at the Gulbenkian, and a visit from legendary British jazz pianist Julian Joseph tonight.
Images: Peter Cook
Posted by Daniel Harding.
Posted on: 19th Apr 2012
Music from some of the composers featuring at Sounds New next month coming up on Radio 3: three new pieces, commissioned as part of the New Music 20x12 for the Cultural Olympiad, and others can be heard on Radio 3’s Hear and Now this Saturday.
Anna Meredith’s HandsFree will be performed by the National Youth Orchestra, whilst Sally Beamish’s Spinal Chords, with actress Juliet Stevenson as narrator, is played by the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment . The Manchester Chorale and Black Dyke Mills Band perform Luke Carver Goss’ Pure Gold: a 4X4 Relay Race, with the inimitable tones of Ian Macmillan (he of The Verb fame) narrating.
Also in the programme: Harrison Birtwistle and Colin Matthews.
At Sounds New next month, Sally Beamish’s Kyle: song for solo piano can be heard in a lunchtime concert on Thursday 10 May, whilst Harrison Birtwistle’s Grimethorpe Aria is performed by the Grimethorpe Colliery Band in Canterbury Cathedral on Saturday 12 May.
Here’s Sally Beamish talking about the inspiration behind Spinal Chords.
The Hear and Now programme will then be available on iPlayer for a week.
Posted by Daniel Harding.