Thursday 23 May 2019

Berners, Stanford, Milford & RVW premieres open English Music Festival

Dorchester Abbey (Photo John Armagh)
Dorchester Abbey (Photo John Armagh)
The 13th English Music Festival start tomorrow (24 May 2019) at Dorchester Abbey, Oxfordshire, providing a weekend of exploration of English music from the late 19th to mid-20th centuries.  The festival opens with a remarkable programme of world premieres from the BBC Concert Orchestra, conductor Martin Yates, including Lord Berners' Portsmouth Point, a work written in the 1920s and perhaps never performed owing to the success of William Walton's overture (both based on a Rowlandson cartoon), a violin concerto by Stanford which dates from his period studying in Leipzig, a symphony by Robin Milford who was a pupil of RVW and Holst, and RVW's The Blue Bird which is incidental music that he wrote for Maeterlinck's play in 1913 which survives only in piano score so many never have been performed.

A recital by Rupert Marshall Luck (violin) and Michael Korstick (piano) will include the first performance of a new Urtext edition of Elgar's Violin Concerto, whilst Nicholas Daniel (oboe) will be performing RVW's Concerto for oboe and string orchestra with the English Arts Orchestra, conductor Leslie Olive as part of a programme of English String music. Lynn Arnold and Charles Matthews (piano duet) will be performing music by York Bowen,William Alwyn, Arthur Bliss, Donald Tovey, Delius and Frances Routh. The Piatti Quartet performs Elgar's String Quartet alongside music by Walton, Britten and Bridge.

The Chapel Choir of Worcester College, Oxford, perform a programme of English choral music, and the the Godwine Choir and Holst Orchestra, conductor Hilary Davan Wetton perform Dyson, Rubbra, Finzi, Howells, Holst and Elgar. The Chamber Ensemble of London, director Peter Fisher, perform RVW's Concerto Grosso alongside music by Bainton, Alwyn, Ireland, Finzi and Clive Jenkins.

Full details from the English Music Festival website

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