Out of the Shadows

Saturday, 28 January 2023

Over 3000 performers, Photos of August Manns and the chorus and orchestra at the 1897 Handel Festival at Crystal Palace

 

August Manns at the Handel Festival at Crystal Palace in 1897
August Manns at the Handel Festival at Crystal Palace in 1897

In 1856, the idea arose of commemorating the centenary of the death of Handel with a series of concerts at Crystal Palace, such was the success of the idea that a preliminary festival was held at Crystal Palace in 1857. This led to the Triennial Handel Festival which continued until 1926. From 1855 to 1901, the director of music at Crystal Palace was the conductor August Manns (1825-1907). Included in the article are a selection of photographs of Manns and the Crystal Palace chorus and orchestra during the 1897 Handel Festival. 

The photographs belong to a client of our framers, Alec Drew Picture Frames Ltd, and we are very grateful to them for allowing the pictures to be shared. There are two further pictures after the break.

A virtuosic cascade of ecstatic and endless deep listening: The Hermes Experiment with Shiva Feshareki

Shiva Fesharecki - Milton Court Concert Hall
Shiva Fesharecki - Milton Court Concert Hall (Photo Emma Werner)

Oliver Leith, Stevie Wishart, Mira Calix, Jethro Cooke & The Hermes Experiment, Shiva Feshareki; The Hermes Experiment, Shiva Fesharecki; Milton Court Concert Hall, Barbican
Reviewed by Florence Anna Maunders, 26 January 2023

The Hermes Experiment join forces with Shiva Fesharecki taking us on a journey that combines the ensemble's distinctive sound with Fesharecki's to explore sonic boundaries

At the Barbican's Milton Court Concert Hall on 26 January 2023, The Hermes Experiment (Anne Denholm - harp, Marianne Schofield - double bass, Oliver Pashley - clarinet, Héloïse Werner – soprano) presented a programme that took them from Oliver Leith's Uh huh, Yeah, Stevie Wishart's Eurostar - a journey between cities in sound, and Mira Calix's DMe, to the group's own collaboration with Jethro Cooke, Metropolis and ending with a new collaboration with Shiva Feshareki (composer, turntables, electronics), TRANSFIGURE.

The concert opened with the wonderfully laconic and understated Uh huh, Yeah by Oliver Leith. The whole first half was planned and intended to be an introduction to the extended deep listening of the second half, and this strangely melancholic and resigned work set the tone from the very beginning, with Werner's usually dramatic and characterful voice restricted to repeating the words of the title (the only text of the piece) while the gentle and wistful instrumental music gradually slid downwards and ran out of steam.

The Hermes Experiment and Shiva Fesharecki - Milton Court Concert Hall
The Hermes Experiment and Shiva Fesharecki - Milton Court Concert Hall (Photo Emma Werner)

Part of her musical journey: violinist Esther Yoo chats about recording the Barber and Bruch concertos

Esther Yoo and the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra in recording sessions for their new disc (Photo: Frances Marshall )
Esther Yoo and the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra in recording sessions for their new disc (Photo: Frances Marshall )

The violinist Esther Yoo has a new disc out, a pairing of Bruch's Violin Concerto No. 1 and Samuel Barber's Violin Concerto recorded with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra (RPO), conductor Vasily Petrenko and issued on the Deutsche Grammophon label. Both concertos have personal significance for Esther, whilst her relationship with the RPO goes back to 2018 when she was the orchestra's first artist in residence.

The recording started with the idea to record the Bruch concerto, a work Esther grew up with and has known from childhood. In fact, it is the work that inspired her to try to become a better violinist, so that she could produce the noble character and sound that the concerto requires. So, it is very much a part of her musical journey and identity. The Barber concerto is a more recent link, she felt very connected to it as soon as she first came across it. Both works are very heart on sleeve, there is nothing hidden and she feels that both are very relatable. Whilst the two are contrasting in style, they work well together.

There are, of course, plenty of other recordings of both concertos, particularly the Bruch, but then you can say that about other concertos that she has recorded, including the Tchaikovsky and the Sibelius concertos, with fabulous recordings by violinists of previous generations. But equally, Esther feels that every musician has something to say in a piece, the beauty of the repertoire lives on and there is space for each new interpretation. 

Friday, 27 January 2023

Calling all young musicians: Scottish Young Musicians launches Ensemble of the Year, 2023

Scottish Young Musicians launches Ensemble of the Year, 2023

Scottish Young Musicians is seeking to find the best young music group in Scotland, with entries open to all school-aged pupils in the country. The 2023 Ensemble of the Year competition is inviting entries from ensembles playing any grouping of instruments. The competition is on-line, open to ensembles of 3 to 12 players who play together regularly in a formal group from a school or recognised music organisation. There is no minimum age or standard, but members must be school students in Scotland.

The chosen video entries will then be submitted for judging by a panel of adjudicators. The winning ensemble will be awarded the title of Ensemble of the Year and receive a cash prize to further their musical experiences, plus a trophy designed and donated by Alexander Stoddart, the King’s Sculptor in Ordinary in Scotland, and an expenses paid trip to play at the Solo Performer of the Year National Final on Sunday 21st May at The Royal Conservatoire of Scotland.

The deadline for entries is 31 March 2023, full details from the Scottish Young Musicians website.

Mangling Médée: why are stylistically appropriate performances of Cherubini's opera so rare?

Cherubini: Medea - Sondra Radvanovsky - Metropolitan Opera (Photo Metropolitan Opera)
Cherubini: Medea - Sondra Radvanovsky - Metropolitan Opera (Photo Metropolitan Opera)

Mangling Médée: In the wake BBC Radio 3's broadcast of Cherubini's Medea from New York's Metropolitan Opera, we look at why stylistically appropriate performances of Cherubini's 1797 opera remain such a rarity

Last October (2022), the Metropolitan Opera in New York presented its first-ever production of Cherubini's Medea (recently heard on BBC Radio 3). The work was famously associated with Maria Callas, and the Met history of the opera is linked to Rudolph Bing's failure to woo the diva to sing the role in New York. Perhaps because of this history, the performance in October used the version of the opera that Callas performed. This is a version created in 1909 for the work's debut at La Scala, Milan. This used the shortened version of the opera which Cherubini presented in Vienna in 1809, replaced the spoken dialogue with recitatives that had been created for a German version of the opera presented in Frankfurt in 1855 and added an entirely new Italian translation. 

The result is to present a stylistic mish-mash which is a long way from Cherubini's intentions, adjusting it to suit the style of early 20th-century Italian opera with its emphasis on verismo, and this includes slow tempos reflecting that the leading roles were being sung by vastly different voices to those of the original singers. In fact, that 1909 La Scala performance starred verismo soprano Ester Mazzoleni, though the work can hardly be counted as a success because it did not reoccur in Italy until Callas took it up, in Florence in 1953! 

Thursday, 26 January 2023

How we come together to understand the legacy of enslavement: Insurrection: A work in progress at the Royal Opera House

Rehearsals for Insurrection (Photo Sama Kai)
Rehearsals for Insurrection (Photo Sama Kai)

The Barbados Rebellion of April 1816 was the largest slave revolt in Barbadian history. It only lasted a few weeks, as the enslaved men and women, who worked on the island’s many estates and plantations, were defeated by the Colonial Militia. What we know about the rebellion largely comes from the victors, the colonialists, the enslaved were rarely, if ever, able to tell their stories. But what we have is their music, the songs they sang.

A new project at the Royal Opera House, Insurrection: A work in progress, explores this story using the folk songs sung by enslaved workers and their descendants, including rebel music banned on plantations due to the fear of hidden messages, British pro-slavery propaganda songs, abolitionist hymns, and 19th century opera enjoyed by enslavers. Insurrection is a work in progress and will be presented as a series of semi-staged sharings to explore how we come together to understand the legacy of enslavement. The events in the Linbury Theatre run from 21 to 25 March 2023, which is International Day of Remembrance of the Victims of Slavery and the Transatlantic Slave Trade.

The new work is being developed by Peter Brathwaite, baritone, artist and broadcaster (Peter Brathwaite sang the role of the Old Gardener in my opera The Gardeners in 2019), and represents an investigation of his own ancestors who were enslaved workers and enslavers on sugar plantations in Barbados. Insurrection charts the story of rebellion and resistance in Barbados, and celebrates the human need to gather, move, make music, and tell stories, amid, and in response to, oppression.

Insurrection is a collaboration between Brathwaite, director Ellen McDougall, writer Emily Aboud, and music director Yshani Perinpanayagam who is arranging the original musical material.

Full details from the Royal Opera House website.

Faces in the Mist: the first disc devoted to Richard Peat's striking and evocative music

Faces in the mist: Choral music of Richard Peat
Faces in the mist: Choral music of Richard Peat; The Chapel Choir of Selwyn College, Cambridge, The Girl Choristers of Ely Cathedral, Sarah MacDonald (conductor), Adam McDonagh (piano), Michael Sedgwick (trumpet), Aaron Shilson (organ), Anne Denholm (harp); Regent Records
Reviewed 26 January 2023 (★★★)

The first disc devoted to the lovely choral music of Richard Peat, always imaginative and full of evocative moments

Faces in the Mist from Regent Records is the first disc devoted to the choral music of Richard Peat, a varied collection of both sacred and secular works spreading over the last 20 years. Sarah MacDonald conducts the Chapel Choir of Selwyn College, and the Girl Choristers of Ely Cathedral, with Adam McDonagh (piano), Michel Sedgwick (trumpet), Aaron Shilson (organ) and Anne Denholm (harp).

Richard Peat’s first publicly performed work, Tenebrae, was premièred by the Britten Sinfonia at the Sounds New festival in 1997 while he was still at school. He studied at City University with Rhian Samuel (where he completed his doctorate in 2007) and privately with Paul Max Edlin. In 2008 he studied with Sir Peter Maxwell Davies on the Advanced Composition course at the Dartington International Summer School and he was again selected in 2021 to study with Nico Muhly.

Wednesday, 25 January 2023

Out of the Shadows in the Brixton Bugle

 

Out of the Shadows - Brixton Bugle - February 2022

The February issue of The Brixton Bugle, my local newspaper has a lovely little article about Out of the Shadows, our forthcoming concert for LGBT+ History Month at Hinde Street Methodist Church on 3 February 2023. The digital version of the article isn't on-line yet, but if you click on the image then you should get one big enough to read.

The Brixton Bugle is a free community newspaper that is printed monthly with 10,000 copies distributed around Brixton. Both the Brixton Bugle and the Brixton Blog are published by a Community Interest Company which is run for the benefit of the community. The blog was begun by Zoe Jewell in 2010, and she and Tim Dickens started the Bugle in 2012. In November 2013 they were nominated for Innovation of the Year at the British Journalism Awards.

Full information about the concert and tickets from EventBrite.

Combining classical repertoire with experimentation and unconventional instruments: Les Salons en Musique at the Institut français

Les Salons en Musique

The Institut français created its concert series,  Les Salons en Musique on the occasion of the restoration of its 1907 Pleyel grand piano in 2018, and the series continues to be an innovative exploration of contemporary trends in chamber music.

Coming up in February, on 2 February the Trio No Bad Vibes (Percussions de Strasbourg) presents L’Air(e) as the three percussionists, Francois Papirer, Enrico Pedicone, and Remi Schwartz, explore a diversity of percussion instruments mixing improvisation and performance with music by Jacques Rebotier, Steve Reich, and others. [further details].

Further ahead there are concerts from pianist, composer and improvisor, Pascale Berthelot, and Ensemble Variances (founded French composer and pianist Thierry Pécou)

Full details from the Institut français website.

Lyricism, melancholy & sadness: pianist Ruth McGinley & composer Neil Martin collaborate on Aura

Aura - Ruth McGinley, Neil Martin
Aura: traditional Irish melodies arranged by Neil Martin; Ruth McGinley
Reviewed 25 January 2023 (★★★½)

Unashamedly Romantic, this new disc takes ten traditional Irish tunes and takes them into new and hauntingly evocative territories


For her latest album, Derry-born pianist Ruth McGinley has returned somewhat to her roots and produced a disc of Irish airs re-imagined, in collaboration with Belfast composer Neil Martin. Aura (available via Bandcamp) is the least folksy of discs, though the ten tracks all have their origins in traditional melodies - nine are Martin's arrangements of traditional melodies whilst the tenth is Martin's own work which seems to be imbued with the same spirit.

There is little sense of the folksy about these piano solos, despite the background material. Martin's arrangements unashamedly take the music into a classical, Romantic territory. The tunes are rarely far away, but Martin weaves around them textures which play to McGinley's strengths as a player who moves between the classical world and the worlds of jazz and folk. Her debut disc, Reconnection, which was issued in 2016, represents a reconnection between McGinley and the piano, playing in her own music that touched her after stepping back from performing, following the intensity of her early career (she was in the piano final of BBC Young Musician in 1994).

Tuesday, 24 January 2023

Flavio, Orfeo and more: Bayreuth Baroque Opera Festival announces its 2023 programme

Leonardo Vinci: Alessandro nell'Indie - Jake Arditti, Franco Fagioli & Mayan Licht at Bayreuth Baroque Opera Festival in 2022 (Photo Falk von Traubenberg)
Leonardo Vinci: Alessandro nell'Indie - Jake Arditti, Franco Fagioli & Mayan Licht at Bayreuth Baroque Opera Festival in 2022 (Photo Falk von Traubenberg)

Last September we finally made it to Bayreuth for Max Emanuel Cencic's Bayreuth Baroque Opera Festival which takes place in the 18th century splendour of the Margravial Opera House. Last year, the focus of the festival was the first modern revival of Leonardo Vinci's Alessandro nell'Indie in a spectacular production that recreated the premiere's use of male singers for both male and female roles [see my review].

The programme for the 2023 Bayreuth Baroque Opera Festival has now been announced and the festival, which takes place from 7 to 17 September 2023 will, for the first time, have two staged operas. There will be a new production of Handel's Flavio, Re de' Longobardi, directed by Max Emanuel Cencic with Julia Lezhneva, Max Emanuel Cencic, Yuriy Mynenko, Sonja Runje, Rémy Brès-Feuillet and Sreten Manojlovic. Benjamin Bayl will direct from the harpsichord with Concerto Köln, the resident orchestra at the festival. Flavio dates from 1723 and was the composers fourth full-length opera for the Royal Academy of Music. Unusually concise for the period, the opera is an interesting mix of tragedy and comedy.

Alongside this will be a production of Monteverdi's L'Orfeo, originally seen at the Athens Megaron in 2017 as part of the celebrations for the 450th anniversary of Monteverdi's birth. The production combines Monteverdi with new music, transcriptions and live electronics by Panos Iliopoulos, all a conception of music director Markellos Chryssicos. Directed by Thanos Papakonstantinou, the production features Rolando Villazón as Orfeo.

Recitals include counter-tenor Valer Sabadus in arias by Carl Heinrich Graun with {oh!} Orkiestra, soprano Véronique Gens in Passion with Ensemble Les Surprises with music by Lully, Henry Desmarest, André Cardinal Destouches, Pascal Collasse and François Rebel, counter-tenor Bruno de Sá explores arias from the Neapolitan school with nuovo barocco and tenor Daniel Behle presents arias from the second half of the 18th century that have remained unheard since the time of their composition 

Full details from the festival website.

My Sailor, My Love

The Belgian composer Michelino Bisceglia (his family is Italian in origin) has written soundtracks for a number of feature films. The latest is the Irish film, My Sailor, My Love directed by Finnish director Klaus Härö (his English-language debut). Bisceglia's soundtrack for the film, written for classical orchestra, was conducted by him at the Galaxy Studios in Mol, Belgium. The above video (also on YouTube) features a clip from the music sessions and the full score is available on Spotify.

In addition to his film work, Bisceglia is working on a new concerto for trumpet and orchestra. And he will be working on the soundtrack for the new film Sleep by Jan-Willem van Ewijk. Bisceglia is also a noted jazz pianist, being nominated twice as best Belgian jazz musician of the year, and performing at international jazz festivals with his own jazz trio.

Style and elegance: with Bach-Abel Society, Les Ombres take us back to the elegant evenings of the Bach-Abel concerts in London

Bach-Abel Society - Bach, Abel, Schroter, Haydn; Les Ombres; Mirare
Bach-Abel Society - Bach, Abel, Schröter, Haydn; Les Ombres; Mirare
Reviewed 17 January 2023 (★★★★★)

A delightful and imaginative disc which takes us into the salons of London at the height of the popularity of the Bach-Abel concerts with music full of style and elegance

Carl Friedrich Abel arrived in London in 1759 (aged 36), and Johann Christian Bach would arrive in 1762 (aged 27). The two knew each other, their fathers were friends and colleagues (Bach senior had worked with Abel senior at the court in Köthen). By 1765 Bach and Abel had set up a concert series in London, initially as part of society queen Teresa Cornelys' fashionable assemblies at Carlisle House in Soho Square, then in Almack's Room in King Street and finally in the purpose-built Hanover Square Rooms from 1776. Later years brought financial troubles and the concerts ceased with Bach's death in 1782.

These were not public concerts, the series was open only to the great and the good of society. Their attraction was exclusivity with a subscription list itself controlled by a group of aristocratic female patronesses who vetted potential concert goers. Leading European singers and instrumentalists performed, there were visual delights including paintings by Gainsborough. However, the exclusivity also meant that advertisements for the events fail to give us an idea of either performers or repertoire.

However the ensemble Les Ombres - Margaux Blanchard, viola de gamba & co-musical director, Sylvain Sartre, flute & co-musical director, Fiona McGown, mezzo-soprano, Théotime Langlois de Swarte, violin, Justin Taylor, forte piano, Hanna Salzenstein, cello - have brought together a programme of likely pieces for their disc Bach-Abel Society on Mirare. So here we have quartets by Bach and Abel, viola da gamba solos by Abel, Scots songs arranged by Haydn, and pieces by Johann Samuel Schröter.

Monday, 23 January 2023

Music from Spain and beyond is a theme as the London Festival of Baroque Music returns to St John's Smith Square

London Festival of Baroque Music

The London Festival of Baroque Music returns to St John's Smith Square from 12 to 20 May 2023 for seven days of Baroque music making with 12 concerts featuring a wide range of artists and styles, with an emphasis this year on the music of Spain

The festival opens with a weekend of music devoted to all things Spanish. The Spanish ensemble, La Grande Chapelle presents a programme of Spanish music from the 16th to 18th centuries performed in the round. Spain continues to be the focus for Concerto 1700's programme of chamber music written for 18th century Madrid, whilst the Spanish ensemble L'Apotheose performs music from the Spanish Royal Court from the years 1720 to 1750, mixing music from the Royal Chapel with that written for the theatre, whilst José Miguel Moreno will be giving a recital of music written for vihuela and Baroque guitar. Raquel Andueza and La Galania present a programme of secular Spanish music, alongside songs with texts in Spanish found in European collections. 

Le Concert de l’Hostel Dieu, music director Franck-Emmanuel Comte, bring their programme mixing contemporary music with that of Purcell, Lully and Charpentier [see my recent interview with Franck-Emmanuel]. Chamber groups made up of musicians from the Southbank Sinfonia, coached by members of the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment (OAE), will be presenting an evening of chamber music, whilst members of the OAE present their own chamber concert with music by Bach, Telemann and Handel. Steven Devine, the OAE's harpsichordist, will be giving a concert and a masterclass, whilst Dr John Scott Whitely give the organ at St John's a workout with music by Bach and his contemporaries.

Full details from St John's Smith Square's website.

My song "We wear the mask" at the London Song Festival: new video released

London Song Festival's concert Friends and Lovers: Samuel Coleridge-Taylor & Paul Laurence Dunbar is now on-line for 30 days on YouTube. The concert includes all of Coleridge-Taylor’s African Romances, and other settings of Dunbar’s poetry by Florence Price, William Grant Still, Betty Jackson King and other composers, performed by Gweneth Ann Rand (soprano), Ronald Samm (tenor)  and Nigel Foster (piano) at Hinde Street Methodist Church. The concert includes the premiere of my song We wear the mask, specially written for this concert, see clip above for the performance from Ronald Samm and Nigel Foster.

Looking ahead, there will be more of my song at Hinde Street Methodist Church on Friday 3 February 2023, when Ben Vonberg-Clark (tenor), James Atkinson (baritone) and Nigel Foster (piano) perform Out of the Shadows, an evening of my songs for LGBT History Month. Further information and tickets from EventBrite.

Party! London's LGBT+ community choir, the Pink Singers celebrate 40 years at the Cadogan Hall

The Pink Singers at Cadogan Hall, January 2023
The Pink Singers at Cadogan Hall, January 2023 (Photo Jessica Rowbottom)
In July 1983 I allowed myself to have my arm twisted and take over as temporary music director of a new gay choir that had been formed in London in May, of that year. Inspired by a visit from the New York City Gay Men's Choir, the Pink Singers was an attempt to create something similar, a London-based gay community choir. Initially, we were small and quirky, and the London gay scene of the 1980s did not quite know what to make of us, but we persisted and developed. When I stopped being music director in 1988, we had already a coherent musical ensemble. Now, 40 years later the Pink Singers is going strong and the 100 something members took to the stage at the Cadogan Hall on Saturday 21 January 2023 under music director Murray Hipkin, to celebrate 40 years.

The programme for the concert mixed show tunes, with the Spice Girls, Witney Houston, Lizzo, Miley Cyrus, Queen and more, in imaginative arrangements often accompanied by a seven-piece band. There was choreography too, some from small groups and at other times the whole ensemble got up to boogie. It was a wonderfully exuberant and engaging evening and might give the wrong idea of the ensemble's ethos. There is a lot more to the Pink Singers, and a series of short introductions from choir members gave us a feel for the other aspects of the ensemble. 

Sunday, 22 January 2023

Aural Adventures: Colin Currie Quartet and Liam Byrne at Kings Place

Liam Byrne at Kings Place (Photo: Viktor Erik Emanuel)
Liam Byrne at Kings Place (Photo: Viktor Erik Emanuel)

Dark Full Ride:
 John Luther Adams, Rolf Wallin, David Lang, Steve Reich, Connor Shafran, Julia Wolfe; Colin Currie Quartet; Kings Place
Reconstructing Resonance: Picforth, Alex Mills, Maddalena Casulana, Nico Muhly; Liam Byrne; Kings Place
Reviewed 20 January 2023

The launch of Sound Unwrapped included two contrasting explorations, four percussionists surrounding the audience, and a single viola da gamba made modern via electronics and sound installation 

Kings Place's new season, Sound Unwrapped, launched on Friday 20 January 2023 with an evening of concerts exploring the season's themes of sound art and ways of listening. In Hall One, the Colin Currie Quartet gave us Dark Ride with John Luther Adams' Qilyaun, Rolf Wallin's Twine, David Lang's the so-called laws of nature, part II, Steve Reich's Drumming, part I, Connor Shafran's Continental Divide and Julia Wolfe's Dark Full Ride. Then later in the evening in Hall Two, Liam Byrne's Reconstructing Resonance combined his viola da gamba with computer software to explore the full range of resonance offered by Hall Two's new Soundscape system installed by d&b audiotechnik, with music by Picforth, Alex Mills, Maddalena Casulana and Nico Muhly providing the starting point.

The Colin Currie Quartet at Kings Place (Photo: Viktor Erik Emanuel)
The Colin Currie Quartet at Kings Place (Photo: Viktor Erik Emanuel)

The Colin Currie Quartet (Colin Currie, Owen Gunnell, Adrian Spillett, Sam Walton) based their programme around pieces where all four percussionists play near-identical instruments. They began with John Luther Adams' 1998 work Qilyaun based on four wooden frame drums; Qilyaun is the name of the drum in the language of the Inupiat people of North East Alaska, where Adams lived between 1978 and 2014. The four percussionists were placed at the four corners of the balcony, thus placing the audience at the centre of the sound. It was a thrilling yet subtle piece, with remarkable changes of timbre and texture. Whether loud or soft, the sound rolled around the hall and at the end as the rhythmic drumming got faster and faster, the results almost approached orgasmic. An observation I made about a number of the pieces in the programme! 

Saturday, 21 January 2023

Advocating for a sense of classicism: conductor Alexander Shelley on recording the music of Robert Schumann, Johannes Brahms and Clara Schumann

Alexander Shelley and NAC Orchestra (Photo: Dwayne Brown)
Alexander Shelley and NAC Orchestra (Photo: Dwayne Brown)

The conductor Alexander Shelley has been the music director of the National Arts Centre (NAC) Orchestra in Ottawa since 2015, and he is also principal associate conductor of the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra. With the NAC Orchestra, Shelley is part of the way through a cycle of four double-CD sets on Analekta devoted to the music of Robert Schumann, Clara Schumann and Johannes Brahms, with the third disc in the set to be released on 3 March 2023. This new release features the third symphonies of Schumann and Brahms with songs, piano music and the Piano Trio by Clara Schumann, performed by Alexander Shelley and the NAC Orchestra with soprano Adrianne Pieczonka, pianists Liz Upchurch, Gabriela Montero, and Stewart Goodyear, violinist Yosuke Kawasaki (concertmaster of the NAC Orchestra) and cellist Rachel Mercier (principal cello of the NAC Orchestra).

Each of the double CD sets features one of the four symphonies both by Robert Schumann (with the later version of Schumann's Symphony No. 4) and Brahms along with chamber music, songs and instrumental music by Clara Schumann.

Friday, 20 January 2023

Out of the Shadows in Estonia: our programme of Robert Hugill's songs to be performed at the Glasperlenspiel Festival in Tartu in 2024

St John's Church, Tartu - home of the Glasperlenspiel Festival
St John's Church, Tartu
home of the Glasperlenspiel Festival
I am pleased to announce that Out of the Shadows will be presented in Estonia in 2024 at the  Glasperlenspiel Festival in Tartu. The evening of my songs including two new cantatas, performed by Ben Vonberg-Clark (tenor), James Atkinson (baritone) and Nigel Foster (piano), premieres at Hinde Street Methodist Church, London on 3 February 2023, and at the invitation of the festival's artistic director, Peeter Vähi, the programme will be presented in Tartu on 5 July 2024. Tartu is the European Capital of Culture 2024 and we are proud and privileged to be presenting this programme of my work (all Estonian premieres) at the festival.

Out of the Shadowsan evening of Robert Hugill's songs for LGBT History Month, features two cantatas, which receive their world premiere at our concert on 3 February 2023 alongside a programme of my songs creating something of a retrospective. The cantata Out of the Shadows takes us from the earliest tentative admissions of same-sex attraction, to cruising in a bath house in Imperial Russia to Walt Whitman's unashamed admission of his sexuality. Et expecto resurrectionem mortuorum moves between the certainty of the Latin creed, to explorations of cryogenics, the body-snatching of Burke and Hare and Mary Shelley's Frankenstein, before resolving in the homoerotic pantheistic transcendentalism of Walt Whitman with its celebration of Death itself. Alongside these two will be a selection of my songs, from love songs and settings of Michaelangelo’s sonnets to a depiction of an AIDS candlelit memorial in Memorare.

The Glasperlenspiel Festival was founded in Tartu by composer Peeter Vähi and its name, which translates as 'The Glass Bead Game' comes from the novel by Herman Hesse. The festival, which is presented annually by Vähi's company Estonian Record Productions (ERP) is four days of classical and contemporary music presented in Tartu, the second largest city in Estonia and the home of the country's oldest university, the University of Tartu which was founded in 1632. It is also the birthplace of the Estonian Song Festivals, the first of which was held in Tartu in 1869 and they continue to be held every five years in Tallinn.

You can hear Out of the Shadows in London on 3 February 2023, full details from the EventBrite page.


Handel the European: two concerts showcasing the diversity & imagination of Handel's cantatas

Portrait miniature of Handel (c1710) by Christoph Platzer (Photo of a lost original, Handel-Haus, Halle)
Portrait miniature of Handel (c1710) by Christoph Platzer
(Photo of a lost original, Handel-Haus, Halle)
Handel: Sans y penser (Cantate Francaise) HWV 155, No se emendera jamas HWV 140, German Arias 202-208; Claire Ward, Maxim Del Mar, Miriam Nohl, Kiristiina Watt; City Music Foundation at the Great Hall, St Bartholomew's Hospital, 18 January 2023
Handel: Alpestre monte HWV81Un'alma innamorata HWV173Tra le fiamme HWV170; Carolyn Sampson, Finnish Baroque Orchestra; Wigmore Hall

Two concerts showcasing the more intimate beauties of Handel's cantatas, with texts setting Italian, French, Spanish and German. A lovely focus on an often ignored part of his imaginative output

Two concerts this week, showcased the range of Handel's writing for voice on an intimate scale. He wrote hundreds of small-scale cantatas, of which only a handful are well known, and though works in this style date largely from his Italian years, there are tantalising later chamber vocal works.

So, at the Great Hall of St Bartholomew's Hospital on Wednesday 18 January 2023, the City Music Foundation presented soprano Claire Ward with Maxim Del Mar (violin), Miriam Nohl (cello), Kristiina Watt (archlute & Baroque guitar) in a programme called Handel's Europe which included movements from Handel's French language cantata Sans y penser HWV 155, plus the cantata in Spanish, No se emendera jamas HWV 140 and a selection of six of the German Arias. Then on 19 January 2023, soprano Carolyn Sampson joined members of the Finnish Baroque Orchestra for a programme of Handel's Italian cantatas, Alpestre monte HWV81, Un'alma innamorata HWV173 and Tra le fiamme HWV170.

This was music written for an almost forgotten social ritual, the salon. It wasn't concert music at all, and it is significant that as Ellen T. Harris has pointed out (in her wonderful book on the cantatas Handel as Orpheus), once Handel stopped having patron and started working for himself, then his cantatas stop almost entirely. For their concert at St Bartholomew's, Claire Ward and friends performed with the audience in a semi-circle round them, creating a real intimate feel. There was no harpsichord, here the continuo was cello (Miriam Nohl) and baroque guitar or archlute (Kristiina Watt). 

Thursday, 19 January 2023

Jennifer Johnston and Joseph Middleton launch Leeds Lieder's Spring recital season

Leeds Lieder Spring 2023

Leeds Lieder begins 2023 with a programme of four Spring recitals. The first sees mezzo-soprano Jennifer Johnston and festival director Joseph Middleton celebrating song of the 20th and 21st centuries by British and American composers at the Clothworkers’ Centenary Concert Hall on Friday 10 February 2023 as part of the 2023 Contemporary Music Festival at the University of Leeds.

Johnston and Middleton's recital includes songs by Jonathan Dove and Benjamin Britten including Canticle I, Cheryl Frances Hoad's two Ophelia songs and Lady Macbeth, a scena by Joseph Horovitz who died last year. There are songs by Ned Rorem, who also died in 2022, and Samuel Barber, and the recital ends with Cheryl Frances-Hoad's One Life Stand, a song cycle setting words by Sophie Hannah that was written in response to Schumann's Frauenliebe und Leben and which was premiered by Johnston and Middleton at Opera North in 2011.

The other Spring recitals feature soprano Miah Persson and Joseph Middleton in Grieg, Nystroem, Sibelius, and Strauss (15/2/2023), soprano Mary Bevan, tenor Nicky Spence and Joseph Middleton in Weill, Novello, Berg, Messager, Rorem, Lehar, Sullivan, Oscar Strauss, Satie, Gershwin, Berlin, Kern, Brecht (4/3/2023) and baritone Roderick Williams and Joseph Middleton in Schubert's Die schöne Müllerin (20/4/2023).

The 2023 Leeds Lieder Festival will take place from Friday 9 to Saturday 17 June 2023.

Full details from the Leeds Lieder website.

Wednesday, 18 January 2023

Wild Arts announces the second Essex Summer Opera Festival with Donizetti's L'elisir d'amore

Layer Marney Tower
Layer Marney Tower

Orlando Jopling's company Wild Arts has announced the second Essex Summer Opera Festival at Layer Marney Tower. The company will be presenting a new production of Donizetti's L'elisir d'amore on 22, 24 and 25 June 2023. The production will be directed by Guido Martin-Brandis, conducted by Orlando Jopling with Galina Averina as Adina, Thomas Elwin as Nemorino, James Atkinson as Belcore and Alex Jones as Dulcamara.

The production takes place in Quintin's Barn, a newly renovated 16th century barn in the grounds of Layer Marney Tower, and audiences can explore the 120-acre grounds, picnic in the gardens, and, on Sunday, climb the Tower to take in the surrounding views. And the festival is the starting point for a 30-date Summer tour of rural locations in the UK.

Pupils from four Essex schools will take part in the company's first education project where a specially adapted version of Donizetti’s The Elixir of Love will be the basis for interactive workshops introducing pupils to the opera's story and music, and the pupils will then attend the dress rehearsal of the full show. The workshops will be designed to help schools deliver the National Curriculum for music and the updated National Plan for Music.

Full details from the Wild Arts website.

The onus is really on each player to listen to what's going on around them: violinist Jeff Wu introduces the Guildhall String Ensemble's programme

Jeff Wu
Jeff Wu

On Friday 20 January 2023, the Guildhall String Ensemble returns to Milton Court Concert Hall directed by violinist Jonathan Morton (artistic director and leader of the Scottish Ensemble and principal first violin of the London Sinfonietta). 

The programme consists of works by American and English composers, Elgar’s Introduction and Allegro and Tippett’s Concerto for Double String Orchestra are showcased alongside Caroline Shaw's Punctum, Jessie Montgomery's Strum and Starburst and George Walker's Lyric for Strings, in an evening celebrating the breadth of string composition and performance over the last century. 

The ensemble is made up of string players from the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, and violinist Jeff Wu, who will be leading the second violins, has written us a piece about working on the concert.

I have been playing the violin since I was six and I'm turning 25 this June… so, it's been 19 years! After finishing school, I auditioned for all the music colleges in London, and I found the course at Guildhall to be the most interesting. I felt that Guildhall School adapts to each student very well, and I was also really drawn to the violin professor with whom I wanted to study, as well as the Chamber Music department. 

In the Guildhall String Ensemble concert this Friday, I'm leading the second violins for most of the programme and leading the second violins in the first orchestra for Michael Tippett’s Concerto for Double Orchestra. There are a lot of pieces, and I'm very much enjoying working on the repertoire: it’s a contrasting but also very balanced mix of works.

The concert opens with a classic: Elgar’s Introduction and Allegro, which I'm sure the audience will recognise. I think this piece is unique in the sense that you need to have played it to understand how different it is on the page compared to how you hear it, because all the tempi are completely varied, and everybody does it differently! But also, there's so much tradition – in a very good way, of course; Elgar’s writing is just so heart-on-sleeve. 

And then there's some slightly more “out there” stuff, like the Tippett Double Concerto. You can find many different influences within that piece and I’ve enjoyed exploring the propulsive rhythms, and also the interesting ways he handles tonality. 

We're also playing some newer works which I’m really excited about: Caroline Shaw’s Punctum, and two pieces by Jessie Montgomery, which are really cool – they've got some not-so-Classical influences, and some great rhythms. I already knew about Jessie Montgomery: that she did a lot of work for charity, and also supports a lot of work from a great variety of cultural backgrounds. I think it's great that we're including music by contemporary composers in this concert. It’s a personal interest of mine to play modern music, so I've been really excited about the rehearsal process. 

It's been brilliant working with Jonathan Morton. He's very cool, very calm, but also effective and straight to the point, which is great. Sometimes, when you work with somebody of a high profile, you do feel like they’re very aware of how successful they are. But for Jonathan, it's completely not like that. As it’s a relatively small ensemble – 28 players – he’s made us all feel like we have the room to speak up and ask questions, and to discuss things from a very equal and respectful point of view.

I really enjoy being directed by a violinist. I’ve worked in this kind of ensemble set-up quite a lot before, both at and outside of Guildhall School, and I like how it’s much more like chamber music compared to playing in a large orchestra with a conductor. The onus is really on each player to listen to what's going on around them and to make contact with people across the other side of the ensemble, and to watch the leader. I think everybody is just much more engaged in that way. In rehearsal, it doesn't feel like Jonathan’s talking down to the orchestra and separate from it – he very much feels like part of it.

I think there's something for everyone in this concert, and I hope many people come along to enjoy it.

Guildhall String Ensemble will perform at Milton Court Concert Hall on 20 January at 7pm. The ensemble will be directed by Jonathan Morton, in a programme of Elgar, Tippett, Caroline Shaw, Jessie Montgomery and George Walker.  Full details from the Guildhall School's website


Intercourse of Fire and Water: Idlir Shyti in programme for solo cello that mixes late Romanticism with contemporary

Tan Dun, Arnold Bax, Ernest Bloch, Pascal Dusapin; Idlir Shyti; Coviello Contemporary
Tan Dun, Arnold Bax, Ernest Bloch, Pascal Dusapin; Idlir Shyti; Coviello Contemporary
Reviewed 17 January 2023 (★★★★)

An imaginative recital that draws together four contrasting 20th century works for solo cello, contrasting the late Romanticism of Bax and Bloch to more contemporary voices

Idlir Shyti is a young Albanian cellist who is based in London whose studies have included the École Normale de Musique de Paris, Royal College of Music and Conservatorio di Santa Cecilia Rome. For his debut disc, Shyti has chosen to record a sequence of works for unaccompanied cello, though with a rather imaginative mix of contemporary works with 20th century ones.

On Coviello Contemporary, Idlir Shyti's new disc Intercourse of Fire and Water features four works for solo cello, Tan Dun's Intercourse of Fire and Water, Arnold Bax's Rhapsodic Ballad, Ernest Bloch's Suite No. 2 and Pascal Dusapin's Invece.

Tuesday, 17 January 2023

Music, Migration & Mobility: the story of émigré musicians from Nazi Europe in Britain

Music, Migration & Mobility: the story of emigre musicians from Nazi Europe in Britain
During the 1930s, a huge number of people, most of them Jewish, fled Germany, Austria and other countries in order to escape the Nazi regime. Many settled in Britain, and of these a significant number were musicians and these largely Jewish musicians had an enormous impact on musical life in post-war Britain. This much, we have always realised, but the new exhibition at the Royal College of Music, Music, Migration & Mobility: the story of émigré musicians from Nazi Europe in Britain, highlights the remarkable debt that we owe to these émigré musicians.

The exhibition, co-curated by Norbert Meyn, comes out of a larger Music, Migration and Mobility research project at the RCM led by Meyn, bringing together an international team including musicians from Royal Holloway and the University of Salzburg. The fruits of this research project include not just the exhibition, but an oral history project and recordings of the music arising from these musicians' activities.

The exhibition has brought together a remarkable number of objects associated with these musicians and their work, beginning with why they fled in the first place (including such things as a directory of Jewish musicians that published their names and addresses). As enemy aliens (!) many were interned and Morragh Camp on the Isle of Man which saw many musicians groups together, so much so that they produced a musical review What a Life! with music by Hans Gal.

Post-war, many of these musicians wound themselves around British musical life. Fritz Busch, Carl Ebert and Rudolph Bing were instrumental in the founding of Glyndebourne Opera Festival, and the exhibits include not only photographs but the costume for Susanna (from Le Nozze di Figaro) worn by another émigré who became a regular fixture at the festival. Conductor Karl Rankl was the music director of the Covent Garden opera company that would become the Royal Opera, and his work was important in the improvement of musical standards in the company. The Amadeus Quartet was founded in Britain involving three Jewish émigrés, and as well as early programmes the exhibition includes a remarkable letter from the members of the quartet on the vexed subject of Britain's membership of the EU.

Other musicians highlighted include composer Joseph Horovitz, with a striking self-portrait, cellist Anita Lasker-Wallfisch, with her cello case, composer Matyas Seiber, with his work in films, the humorous drawings of Gerard Hoffnung, and the work of broadcaster Hans Keller. Threading their way through the exhibition, including a striking assemblage in the foyer, are the drawings of Milein Cosman who captured many of the artists mentioned by the exhibition.

The exhibition launch included such distinguished visitors as Anita Lasker-Wallfisch and composer Erika Fox, and there was live music from flautist Hannah Gillingham who played Roberto Gerhard's Capriccio for solo flute from 1949.

There is much more at the Music, Migration and Mobility project pages, whilst the online resource features oral history interviews, recordings of featured works and much more.

Tom Kempinski's Duet for One at Orange Tree Theatre with music by Oliver Vibrans

ORANGE TREE THEATRE ANNOUNCES DUET FOR ONE STARRING TARA FITZGERALD AS PART OF 2023 SPRING SEASON
Tara Fitzgerald
The plight of cellist Jacqueline du Pré, struck down at the height of her powers, has inspired a variety of works from documentaries to Cathy Marston's ballet The Cellist which premiered at the Royal Opera House in 2020. 

Tom Kempinski's play, Duet for One was similarly inspired. It premiered at the Bush Theatre in 1980 with Frances de la Tour as Stephanie Abrahams and David de Keyser as Dr Feldmann, going on to be made into a film in 1986 with Julie Andrews and Alan Bates.

You see, there’s no God, Dr. Feldmann, but I know where they got the idea; they got it from music. 

A new production of Kempinski's Duet for One opens at the Orange Tree Theatre in Richmond on 11 February 2023. Directed by Richard Beecham, the production features Tara Fitzgerald as Stephanie Abrahams and Maureen Beattie her psychiatrist Dr Feldmann. There will be a new score featuring live music by Oliver Vibrans.

Vibrans' More Up, a piece for Chamber orchestra and electronics for The Halle, BBC Philharmonic and The Able Orchestra, won an Ivor Novello award and was nominated for a Royal Philharmonic Society award 2020. His recent work includes Monomyth for the Halle, music for two episodes of Charles Hazlewood’s documentary Reinventing the Orchestra for Sky Arts.

Full details from the Orange Tree website.

The Continuo Foundation announces Grant Round 5

The Continuo Foundation: Map of 2022 Grantee Activity
The Continuo Foundation: Map of 2022 Grantee Activity

The Continuo Foundation has announced its fifth round of project grants, with £100,000 of support for creative projects to be carried out by period-instrument ensembles in the UK between April and September 2023. These funds, raised from the foundation's donors, will be allocated based on a two-stage evaluation process guided by the Foundation’s Advisory Panel of sector experts.

The grants are intended to enable ensembles to plan and carry out a range of projects that bring inspiring live music to communities across the UK, particularly in under-served areas. Grants awarded so far have supported 240 events taking place in 105 locations, reaching 80,000 in-person and online audience members, many of whom are new to classical music. Read my 2022 interview with the foundation's CEO and founder, Tina Vadaneaux.

The foundation's aim initial aim when founded in 2020 was to address the debilitating effects of pandemic-related cancellations on freelance period-instrument musicians. The focus in 2022 was on recovery, rebuilding the careers of musicians and bringing live music to as many UK regions as possible. Looking ahead, the foundation plans to continue to provide a platform for fostering long-term growth in performance activity and audiences, widening access and increasing financial sustainability.

This round will again have a separate category for recently formed ensembles, primarily young artists. The foundation expects to award 20 grants of between £2,000 and £8,000, of which up to four will go to recently-formed ensembles. Professional UK-based ensembles of at least three period instrumentalists are eligible to apply for grants. The application submission period runs from 10 January to 6 February 2023. Grant award decisions are expected by 23 March 2023. Full details on how to apply are available on the foundation's website.

Classical Vauxhall returns for its fourth edition in March 2023

Artistic director Fiachra Garvey at Classical Vauxhall 2022
Artistic director Fiachra Garvey at Classical Vauxhall 2022

Classical Vauxhall, artistic director Fiachra Garvey, is returning to St Mark's Church, Kennington for a weekend of classical events from 2 to 4 March 2023. The festival opens on Thursday 2 March 2023 with Comfort in Chaos, a programme of piano quartets, featuring early pieces by Beethoven (his own adaptation of his quintet for piano and winds) and Mahler alongside Brahms' mighty Piano Quartet No.1 in G minor Op.25 and Shifting Landscapes by Canadian composer Vivian Fung performed by English violinist Tamsin Waley-Cohen, American violist Clifton Harrison, Turkish cellist Jamal Aliyev and Irish pianist Fiachra Garvey.

On Friday 3/3/2023, tenor Nicky Spence and pianist Sholto Kynoch present Songs of The Seasons, with Benjamin Britten's Holy Sonnets of John Donne, Tippett's Songs of Ariel plus music by RVW, Sondheim, Gershwin, Michael Horder, Johnnie Dankworth and Geoffrey Bush, and Margaret Bonds Songs of the Seasons. On Saturday afternoon, violinist Rakhi Singh combines solo violin and electronics in a programme of music that mixes Bach and Nicola Matteis with Sciarrino, Saariaho, and Oliver Leith

And the final concert on Saturday evening is the Julian Bliss Septet in The Sound of Film–Jazz in Hollywood, a programme of film music from the silent film and the early ‘talkies’ in The Great Depression years, to music from wartime movies, musicals and classic Disney blockbusters. 

On Sunday 5 March it is the turn of young people as the festival hosts an LPO Overture Day for Young Musicians as 40 local young people aged 11—14 will join with musicians from the London Philharmonic Orchestra for a day of side-by-side music-making. The day will end with a free public performance by the Overture ensemble at 4.30–5.00pm.

Read my 2022 interview with the festival's artistic director, Fiachra Garvey.

Full details from the Classical Vauxhall website.

Monday, 16 January 2023

My motet Ecce Advenit at St Paul's Knightsbridge

Hugill: Ecce Advenit

It was lovely to go along to St Paul's Knightsbridge on Sunday (15 January 2023) for Solemn Eucharist when the choir, director of music Joseph Fort, sang my motet Ecce Advenit for the Offertory anthem.

The choir was in good form, and as well as my anthem sang Haydn's Heligmesse (with organ played by James Orford) and Frederick Ouseley's From the rising of the sun (Ouseley was a curate at St Paul's Knightsbridge).

My motet, which sets the Latin Introit for the Mass of the Epiphany, comes from Tempus per Annum my collection of 70 motets setting the Latin introits for the Sundays and major feast days of the Church's year. All are available for free download on CPDL.

The service was live-streamed and is currently available on YouTube (starting at 57:05), and the clip of just my motet is here:

Theories of forgetting: composer Hollie Harding curates contemporary pieces at LSO St Luke's

Hollie Harding, Heather Roche, Eva Zöllner, Colin Alexander - LSO St Luke's(Photo Emily Hazrati)
Hollie Harding, Heather Roche, Eva Zöllner, Colin Alexander
LSO St Luke's(Photo Emily Hazrati)
Christophe Bertrand, Laurence Crane, Joanna Bailie, Johan Svensson, Bent Sørensen, Hollie Harding; Heather Roche, Eva Zöllner, Colin Alexander; LSO St Luke's
Reviewed by Florence Anna Maunders, 14 January 2023

A mesmerising evening of carefully curated contemporary chamber works

As part of her involvement in the LSO Jerwood Composer+ scheme, London-based composer Hollie Harding presented and curated an evening of contemporary pieces at LSO St Luke's, which included her own new, extensive work – Theories of Forgetting – and explored the complex relationships between music, time and memory, with music by Christophe Bertrand, Laurence CraneJoanna Bailie, Johan Svensson, and Bent Sørensen performed by Heather Roche, clarinets, Eva Zöllner, accordion and Colin Alexander, cello.

The concert opened with a virtuoso performance of Christophe Bertrand's Dikha (2002)– a solo piece for clarinettist Heather Roche and fixed electronic recordings of clarinet sounds and samples. By deploying a vivid arsenal of extended performance techniques, Roche's playing became, at times, indistinguishable from the electrically processed recorded sounds in a fascinating, fast-paced and driven texture. Her skill at handling the wide range of timbres, techniques and colours demanded by Bertrand, as well as a slick transition mid-stream to bass clarinet, demonstrated why Roche is in such huge demand currently as an interpreter of contemporary clarinet repertoire.

Riis (1996), by Laurence Crane presented a complete contrast to the energy of the opening work. Eva Zöllner's accordion replaced the electric organ of the original version, allowing for a subtly nuanced interpretation of the impressively controlled long notes and sustained phrases from which this piece is constructed. Her long association with Roche and experience in small-group performance were apparent in the intimate interaction between the three performers in this beautifully slow-paced piece.

Elegance and control: Miloš Karadaglić in Rodrigo and David Bruce with Karen Kamensek and London Philharmonic Orchestra

Picasso's designs for The Three-Cornered Hat
Picasso's designs for The Three-Cornered Hat
Copland: El salon Mexico, Bruce: The Peacock Pavane, Rodrigo: Concierto de Aranjuez, Ortiz: Antrópolis, Falla: The Three-Cornered Hat; Miloš Karadaglić, London Philharmonic Orchestra, Karen Kamensek 
Reviewed 13 January 2023 (★★★★)

Moving between the Iberian Peninsula and Latin America, an engaging programme that went far beyond Rodrigo's classic concerto to a pair of intriguing contemporary pieces

American conductor Karen Kamensek has made something of a name for herself with contemporary music, and the works of Philip Glass in particular (she has conducted his opera Akhnaten at English National Opera and returns for the revival of Phelim McDermott's production at the London Coliseum in March 2023). On Friday 13 January 2023, she joined London Philharmonic Orchestra at the Royal Festival Hall for a programme that enabled her to show off a wider repertoire. 

Baldly, the programme might have been called 'two Mexican dance halls and two evocations of an Iberian past', as Copland's El Salon Mexico, inspired by a 1920s Mexican dance-hall, was paired with Gabriela Ortiz's Antrópolis, her 2019 tribute to more recent Mexico City dance-halls. Alongside these two, we had the two suites from Falla's The Three-Cornered Hat, his balletic tribute to 19th century Spanish life, and Rodrigo's evocation of an earlier age in the Concierto de Aranjuez with Miloš Karadaglić as the soloist. There was also another recent piece, the premiere of David Bruce's The Peacock Pavane also with Miloš Karadaglić as the soloist.

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