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New music and commissions at the Proms 2013


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Author Topic: New music and commissions at the Proms 2013  (Read 617 times)
Albion
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« on: July 30, 2013, 06:13:37 pm »

By instinct and for no very good reason, I tend to steer away from contemporary compositions but I was extremely impressed by Thomas Adès' Totentanz, setting medieval (1463) verses inspired by a painting at the Marienkirche in Lubeck which was destroyed by bombing in WW2. This seems to me to be a significant contribution to British music - a recording is in the archive. I don't know any of his other music, but based on this piece I think I will have to do some catching-up!

There is an excellent website about the original painting and verses here - http://www.dodedans.com/Emaria.htm

 Smiley

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"A piece is worth your attention, and is itself for you praiseworthy, if it makes you feel you have not wasted your time over it." (Sydney Grew, 1922)

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Dundonnell
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« Reply #1 on: August 01, 2013, 01:56:45 am »

You say that you "don't know any of his(Ades's) other music", John.

Taking you to be speaking quite literally that means that you don't know "Tevot" Shocked

I am not a huge Ades fan myself-my taste also is for earlier British music-but a friend persuaded me to give Simon Rattle's performance of "Tevot" a go and I was completely bowled over Smiley Smiley

Give it a try:



and let it run its full course to what-I think-is its quite glorious conclusion Smiley
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Patrick Murtha
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« Reply #2 on: August 07, 2013, 04:36:56 pm »

By instinct and for no very good reason, I tend to steer away from contemporary compositions but I was extremely impressed by Thomas Adès' Totentanz, setting medieval (1463) verses inspired by a painting at the Marienkirche in Lubeck which was destroyed by bombing in WW2. This seems to me to be a significant contribution to British music - a recording is in the archive. I don't know any of his other music, but based on this piece I think I will have to do some catching-up!

I have listened to most of the Proms concerts so far this season, although I didn't have time to take in the Wagner operas (including Daniel Barenboim's well-received Ring cycle). I heard the Ades piece and am non-committal about it; I need to listen again, with text in hand. Apparently the radio broadcast was the way to catch this premiere; one reviewer who was present at the concert liked the piece better when he listened again online. Even though the two vocal soloists were discreetly miked, they were sometimes overwhelmed by the orchestra from the perspective of the listeners in the hall. On the broadcast, this was not a problem.

In general, the sound quality of the BBC broadcasts is fantastic, the placement of the microphones exquisitely judged. This was a huge benefit during my favorite orchestral performance so far, of Helmut Lachenmann's 1980 Tanzsuite mit Deutschlandlied done by the Bamberg Symphony under Jonathan Nott. This composition depends upon subtle and unusual sounds that were spectacularly well captured. It helped that, as the announcer mentioned, the audience was riveted and seemed to be holding its collective breath. For anyone receptive to late 20th Century (Post-) Modernism, this was a great experience.

The world and UK premieres inevitably have been a mixed lot. Julian Anderson's Harmony and David Matthews's A Vision of the Sea failed to register in a major way with me. John McCabe's Joybox was OK. I missed Sean Shepherd's Magiiya, performed by the new National Youth Orchestra of the United States.

To my taste, the best of the newer works has been Colin Matthews's Turning Point (a UK premiere). This was zestful throughout. It also formed part of the overall best concert, serving as an opener to a BBC National Orchestra of Wales/Thomas Sondergard program that included a terrific rendition of Prokofiev's Second Violin Concerto by Daniel Hope, and closed with a great account of the Shostakovich 11th (how is it that this symphony was dismissed for so many years?).       
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Patrick Murtha
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« Reply #3 on: August 07, 2013, 06:56:10 pm »

I forgot to mention Naresh Sohal's The Cosmic Dance, which was long (50 minutes), but unfortunately not good at all.
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Jolly Roger
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« Reply #4 on: August 08, 2013, 12:02:48 am »

Check out the previous Proms here:
https://www.youtube.com/user/fiveagainstfour/videos
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cjvinthechair
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« Reply #5 on: August 14, 2013, 11:53:11 am »

Didn't hear Sohal, but was at the Nishat Khan Sitar Concerto on Mon.. Did anyone hear that, & what did they make of it ?
How about Gubaidulina 'Rider on the White Horse' last night ? I was there - it was not music you could fall asleep to, but can anyone explain why one might want want to put a piece like that in a collection & play it umpteen times, compared, say, to the Borodin 2 & Glazunov PC in the first half ?

Happy to be educated - but gently, please !
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Clive
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« Reply #6 on: August 15, 2013, 12:18:35 am »

As CJV knows (having shared an interval drink with me!), I reacted similarly to the sitar concerto. Far too long: Malcolm Arnold could probably have done it better and made it last only 10 or 15 minutes.
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cjvinthechair
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« Reply #7 on: August 15, 2013, 11:32:27 am »

As CJV knows (having shared an interval drink with me!), I reacted similarly to the sitar concerto. Far too long: Malcolm Arnold could probably have done it better and made it last only 10 or 15 minutes.

Yes, could have happily made the interval drink longer & the sitar a little shorter - cheers, J. !
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Clive

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