Tuesday 26 February 2013

Premieres at this years English Music Festival

The Golden Legend - Early vocal score, c. 1889
The seventh English Music Festival, taking place from 24 to 28 May 2013 in and around Dorchester on Thames in Oxfordshire, will feature premieres of works by Vaughan Williams and Walford Davies, alongside new commissions and a rare opportunity to hear major works by Sullivan, Moeran, Bax and John Gardner.

The opening concert of the festival, on 24 May, is being given by the BBC Concert Orchestra conducted by Martin Yates. They will be featuring the premiere of Vaughan Williams' Serenade in A minor, an orchestral work dating from 1898, in fact his first work for orchestra. Also in the programme is RVW's early tone poem The Solent plus the first performance of Walford Davies' Symphony no. 2

On Saturday 25 May there is a welcome opportunity to hear Sullivan's cantata The Golden Legend, performed by the English Symphony Orchestra, conducted by John Andrews, with soloists Elena Xanthoudakis, Jean Rigby, Daniel Norman and Grant Doyle. A substantial work, setting words by Longfellow, Sullivan wrote it in 1886 for the Leeds Music Festival and it went on to have a great deal of popularity during Sullivan's lifetime, but has rather fallen out of fashion. This performance will be the first professional revival since Sir Charles Mackerras conducted a centenary performance in Leeds in 1986.

The late John Gardner's Stabat Mater gets an outing on Sunday 26 May with Hilary Davan Wetton conducting the City of London Choir. The closing concert on 27 May is devoted to works commissioned for the occasion, with music by David Owen Norris, Richard Blackford, Paul Lewis, Christopher Wright, Philip Lane, David Matthews, Paul Carr and Ben Palmer.

Further information from the English Music Festival website.

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