Monthly Archive: September 2007
Posted on Friday, September 28, 2007
More info on the two NY performances of Piosenki coming up at the start of October: Tickets for the Carnegie performance. For the performance at Filene Recital Hall,Skidmore College on the 5th Oct please call the college's Department of Music at 518-580-5326.
More info about the Academy program here.
Nice reviews of the concerts:
Feast of Music Blog
Update 2 - Pictures of the concert
with thanks to Feast of Music Blog
Me giving my Pre-performance talk
Baritone Kyle Ferrill in full flow on the lagerphone
Posted on Friday, September 28, 2007
A couple of months ago I attended a concert in London as part of the Ades festival, which included a mind-bending performance of Stravinsky's Les Noces by a stellar line up of pianists that included the Labeque Sisters, and the Russian 'folk-choir' the Pokrovsky ensemble. The gutsy voices of the choir added a fascinating extra dimension to the piece, which drew it closer to its ethnic roots while at the same time maintaining its absolute originality and bizarreness. It was one of the most inspiring performances I've seen in a long time. I went out and bought the CD - the disc contains many of the original folk songs that were incorporated into Les Noces in some form or other, and many of them are trully wonderful. It's let down by a hideous recording of Les Noces with awful sounding electric pianos and a bucket-full of reverb (I hasten to add these were not the same performers as in the concert - the CD doesn't even list the pianists and percussionists who may well have been prerecorded by one player I suspect). The disc is worth it for the folk songs alone though.
Posted on Saturday, September 08, 2007
We had a fascinating day today at Selfridges, Oxford Street for the premiere and seven subsequent performances of my mini-opera Out of the Ordinary. It was a busy Saturday for shopping, and I learnt a lot about writing for such an environment - make it loud, make it obvious! The best performance of the ones I saw took place in the sweet department - the clientele there was a bit more relaxed and up for it than they were upstairs next to the £200 shirts and £30000 diamond-encrusted mobile phones...
Alexander Grove and Frances Bourne in Selfridges, Oxford Street at the premiere of Out of the Ordinary
Ed Hessian and Andrew Sparling
Posted on Thursday, September 06, 2007
It's all happening at the moment.
- I've finished an arrangement of Satie's Sports and Divertissements which I think should make a very enjoyable addition to any chamber ensemble's repertoire. (details of the premiere to follow)
- The Opera Group are rehearsing my new mini-opera Out of the Ordinary which will receive no less than
108 performances in its first day alone - it's being presented in collaboration with Selfridges this Saturday 8th Sept, then again on Thursday 13th, both at Selfridges Oxford Street, and in Selfridges Manchester the following Saturday. The plan is for it to happen 'guerrilla-style' in the midst of a busy shopping store - should be interesting.
- I was delighted to get a call from Dawn Upshaw, who I worked with on Piosenki. She tutors some wonderful singers at BARD College, NY, and Dawn very kindly helped open the door to a new commission from BARD for soloists, choir and chamber orchestra (call it a dramatic cantata if you like) - I'll be working again with Alasdair Middleton who did a fabulous job on the Opera Group piece. The current plan is a 45 minute piece based on an old Russian folk tale about someone who learns to understand the language of birds.
The current plan for the Selfrifges Oxford Street performances on Saturday 8th are as follows (may be subject to change but I'll try to post if so):
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