Bornholm

It’s always fun when you get to take a trip with an orchestra somewhere slightly different or new, and so having played our concert in Aalborg on Thursday night, we allowed the van to get a headstart on Friday before the rest of us left Aalborg airport early Saturday bound for the small island of Bornholm. Part of Denmark, Bornholm is actually nearer to Sweden, in the Baltic sea and turns out to have quite an interesting history from the times of the crusades to the second world war. We took over the church in the main town of Rønne, a rather nice place with many old houses and a sense of community and history that naturally comes with a life inextricably linked with the sea and the fishing port. Although it was rather wet and windy, it seemed like a beautiful place and the isalnd as a whole is apparently a hugely popular holiday destination, particularly with Germans!
My German soloist, Daniel Müller-Schott once again played the Haydn C major with brilliance, energy, poise, delicacy and beauty (and much more besides!) before we launched into a rip-roaring Beethoven’s second symphony. I caught the eye of Peter, one of our stage managers just before I went out to conduct and he had a look of slight panic at the prospect of de-rigging the concert and a race to catch the last ferry to the mainland in a very short amount of time! I like to think we helped him out a little bit…

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Malcolm Arnold in Köln

Wonderful to be back in Köln again, this time for a special project with the WDR Rundfunkorchester – ‘A tribute to Malcolm Arnold’. The concert will be on Sunday 16th September and will be broadcast on WDR radio on the evening of Saturday 27th October.
Here is the link with more information about the concert and how to listen to the broadcast online.

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Rozsa vol.3 out soon

The latest volume of orchestral music by Miklos Rozsa is released on CD on October 1st.
The disc includes the Violin Concerto with Jennifer Pike and the fiendish Concerto for Strings.

Details here: http://www.chandos.net/details06.asp?CNumber=CHAN%2010738

If you can’t wait that long, it is available for download only via the Classical shop website here:

http://www.theclassicalshop.net/Details.aspx?CatalogueNumber=CHAN%2010738

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Coming soon to a concert hall near you…

With the new concert season about to kick off, here is a trailer for a really interesting project scheduled for November in Umeå: Fredrik Högberg’s multimedia piano concerto.  The composer made the news earlier in the year for dropping a flaming grand piano from a bridge into a frozen river…will be interesting to see what becomes of it all!

 

 

Ulster Orchestra x3 !

Rumon and the Ulster Orchestra will be giving three concerts in the Ulster Hall the week beginning 18th June 2012. The concerts are all being broadcast on BBC Radio 3, either live or for a later transmission. At the concert on the 21st there is a chance to hear the very rarely performed Suite No.1 by Edward MacDowell, 5 tone paintings on the subject of nature and the seasons.
Three different programmes, three different soloists, tickets are free and the details can be found here.

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Benjamin/Lucas CD out now

Benjamin/Lucas film music

The Film Music of Arthur Benjamin and Leighton Lucas – Abigail Sara (mezzo-soprano), Catherine Roe-Williams (piano), Rob Court (organ), Côr Caerdydd (choir), BBC National Orchestra of Wales, Rumon GambaArthur Benjamin composed the ‘Storm Clouds Cantata’ in 1934 for Hitchcock’s first version of The Man Who Knew Too Much. In the 1956 colour remake of the film, the incidental music was composed by Bernard Herrmann, who was offered the opportunity to write his own music for the film’s climax. In an unusual outbreak of modesty, however, he said that he could not improve upon Benjamin’s cantata, so it stayed. In the film, Herrmann can be seen conducting the work in a twelve-minute-long, tension-filled scene at the Royal Albert Hall, during which the heroine must stop an assassin from shooting a visiting prime minister. The assassin has memorised the music by listening to a recording of the work, and waits patiently for the thunderous climax of cymbals which will muffle the sound of his gun…

Also on this disc is the Waltz and Hyde Park Galop from An Ideal Husband, and music from The Conquest of Everest, one of Benjamin’s most successful film scores.

Particularly noted for his film music, Leighton Lucas is renowned for his scores for Alfred Hitchcock’s Stage Fright, for Ice Cold in Alex, and for The Dam Busters – all represented on this disc. In ‘Portrait of the Amethyst’ from Yangtse Incident, the music supports scenes of everyday duties aboard the frigate HMS Amethyst, and culminates in the famous March, with its hint of Heart of Oak, the official march of the Royal Navy. In contrast, the score to the Victorian curiosity Portrait of Clare, represented here with ‘Dedication’, an arrangement of a song by Schumann, is inspired by piano and other works by romantic composers such as Chopin and Liszt.

Reviews
“…Gamba directs first-rate performances of these works, all of which are played with electrifying panache (the brass in particular impress throughout) and attentiveness by the BBC orchestra. The recording itself, made in October 2011 at the orchestra’s acoustically inviting new home, Hoddinott Hall, Cardiff, is predictably rich, detailed and spacious. This is another hugely enjoyable addition to this consistently top-drawer Chandos series. Unhesitatingly recommended.”
Michael Jameson – International Record Review – April 2012