New CD out – British Overtures Vol.2

Following on from the success of ‘Overtures from the British Isles’, here comes Volume 2!

UK sales links: amazon • mdt

Recorded in Hoddinott Hall, Cardiff with the wonderful BBC National Orchestra of Wales, this very generous CD contains over 81 minutes of fantastic music and includes one of my favourite overtures, Walton’s Portsmouth Point.  A few of the pieces on the disc share this nautical theme and one, the York Bowen Overture, has its first recording here (and indeed only its second performance ever).

The CD is already Record of the Month on Musicweb-International

Track listing CHAN 10898:

Sir William WALTON (1902-1983) Portsmouth Point (1924-25) [5.33]

Walter LEIGH (1905-1942) Agincourt (1935) [12.29]

York BOWEN (1884-1961) Fantasy Overture ‘Tom Bowling’ [premiere recording] (1945) [8.27]

Dame Ethel SMYTH (1858-1944) Overture to The Boatswain’s Mate (1913-14) [6.05]

John ANSELL (1874-1918) Plymouth Hoe (1914) [7.57]

Sir Alexander Campbell MACKENZIE (1847-1935) Britannia (1894) [7.37]

Eric COATES (1886-1957) The Merrymakers (1923) [4.54]

Sir Charles Hubert Hastings PARRY (1848-1918) Overture to an Unwritten Tragedy (1893 rev. 1894, 1905) [12.29]

Roger QUILTER (1877-1953) A Children’s Overture (1911-19) [10.50]

John FOULDS (1880-1939) Le Cabaret (c. 1921 rev. 1934) [3.43]

Elektra DVD/Bluray released

The film of last year’s NorrlandsOperan Elektra by La Fura Dels Baus which I conducted is now available on DVD and Bluray. Part of the European Capital of Culture – Umeå 2014, this huge open-air production was a massive undertaking (and enormous fun!) and this release captures the action in amazing sound and vision. Great cast, fantastic orchestra – certainly very unique!

Elektra DVD

Available to buy here (UK)

See trailer below

Rózsa in Köln

One doesn’t always get to perform a whole concert of a single composer’s music, especially one as woefully underperformed as Miklós Rózsa.
Thankfully the WDR radio orchestra here in Cologne seem to like such ideas and tomorrow night (Sunday 22nd Feb) we will perform a concert consisting of four of his works.
The concert will be recorded for broadcast later in the year (August 8th I think) and it is especially nice to be performing the Viola Concerto with Lawrence Power once again.
One of my favourite things with Lawrence is watching the reaction of the orchestra at his first rehearsal. As soon as he starts to play, from strings to wind to brass to percussion, heads turn to the front, jaws drop open and it becomes quite a task for me to keep everyone together for the first couple of minutes. He of course is oblivious to all this but he always has the orchestra on side within seconds! And they always seem to like the piece. That and the fact that it is so well written and Lawrence has such an amazing sound that no one has to creep around in micro dynamics – everyone can play their part pretty much as written.

Concert details here:

I’ve recorded a lot of Rózsa’s music on CD – have a look at this page: