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Seen and Heard: Webmaster vacancy
Stan Metzger has been the guiding hand of MusicWeb International
Seen and Heard for some four years now. During that time – and
thanks to the great efforts of all our reviewers – our coverage has
increased significantly, both in terms of the volume and
geographical spread of our reviews. Since April 2011 under Stan’s
stewardship Seen and Heard has published some 5,700 reviews and
articles Our reviewers regularly report from most of the world’s
leading festivals, opera houses and concert halls.
Publishing such a volume of items involves an amount of
time and commitment. Stan has decided, not unreasonably, that he now
wishes to step back from his role as our webmaster, though he does
intend to continue to review for us. He has said that he would like
to hand over to a new webmaster by the end of September 2015.
We need, therefore, to replace Stan and we are looking for one or
more people who would be willing and able to take on the webmaster’s
role. The webmaster(s) will work closely with Seen & Heard’s
established team of five editors who, between them, look after our
reviewers around the world on a geographical basis.
The webmaster(s) need not be already connected with Seen & Heard.
Depending on the interest shown it may be possible to split the role
between more than one person; indeed, there could be advantages to
such an arrangement since it would spread the workload and also
allow for some cover for the occasional absence. Obviously, some IT
and web expertise is required – we use the Wordpress system for Seen
& Heard. Stan will gladly give anyone who is interested more
information about what the role entails. Similarly, Stan will do all
he can to effect a seamless transition to the next webmaster(s)
before stepping back.
The work is voluntary – as is all the work done for MusicWeb
International - but, given Seen and Heard’s standing in the world of
on-line reviewing, the rewards are great, if intangible.
If you think you could help to continue the great work of Seen
and Heard and if you would like to play a key role in its future
growth we would love to hear from you. If you are interested or
would like to know more about the role please contact Stan Metzger
Stan@seenandheard-international.com, and please Cc me in.
Copland House announces its 4th annual, intensive creative
workshop and mentoring program for emerging composers. Six
Fellowships are awarded to American citizens or permanent residents
in the earliest stage of their professional careers to participate
in this young composers’ institute, which takes place June 1-7, 2015
at Aaron Copland’s National Historic Landmark home and at the
historic Merestead estate, near New York City.
compose one 5- to 7-minute, small-ensemble composition (any
combination of flute, clarinet, violin, cello, and/or piano), which
serves as the core of their work at the institute.
consists of daily individual and collective rehearsals and work
sessions exploring and refining the new compositions with
composer-clarinetist and program director Derek Bermel and the Music
from Copland House ensemble; informal discussion sessions with
prominent music executives and arts leaders about practical,
professional, and career matters; and a final public concert and
live recording of all the Fellows’ new works written for CULTIVATE.
All expenses (round-trip transportation within the
continental U.S., accommodations, and session participation, food)
are covered. Composers must submit a CULTIVATE application form
(downloadable), three representative works and recordings, and 1- to
For program guidelines, application form, and
further information, please contact:
Copland House P.O. Box 2177
Peekskill, NY 10566
tel: (914) 788-4659
fax: (914) 788-8686
Postmark deadline: January 13, 2015
The Loder Family of Bath
I offer the latest on the project to commemorate the Loders of Bath during 2015.
Progress during 2014 has very largely been on two fronts. Firstly Nicholas Temperley's book The Loder Family: Musicians in Nineteenth Century Bath is now progressing through the editing stage and is scheduled for publication by Boydell & Brewer during 2015.
Secondly Valerie Langfield, assisted by Andy King, has virtually completed her modern performing edition of Edward Loder's opera Raymond and Agnes. In Nicholas Temperley's version with rewritten libretto this opera excited considerable praise from critics in 1966, and has done so subsequently. Now that the original libretto has come to light, the plan is for Retrospect Opera to record a fully authentic performance of the opera. For this, however, funds are required. Anyone interested is asked to make what contributions they can through Retrospect Opera's website. They are also asked to pass on this message to any contacts who may equally be able to support the recording project.
We look forward to a successful outcome of this plan to revive this outstanding English romantic opera during 2015
Thanks in anticipation.
Ethyl Smyth's The Boatswain's Mate
The redoubtable Ethel Smyth (1858-1944) was known for the range of her compositional talents; she contributed to every musical genre, most notably, opera. Smyth's The Boatswain's Mate, in two parts, is a witty comedy, written in 1914 and produced two years later. It was very popular at the time, and remains very accessible, with folk tunes, nursery rhymes and even a quote from Beethoven's 5th! Its theme, the
question of whether a woman is better off with or without a man, is timeless. The Boatswain's Mate has been described as the feminist Smyth's most feminist work - its Overture even features Smyth's own 'March of the Women'.
In recent years, The Boatswain's Mate has had several performances, yet no recording has been made of the complete opera. Conductor Odaline de la Martinez has consistently championed Smyth's work; her recording of The Wreckers is especially renowned. So it's a cause for celebration that de la Martinez will record The Boatswain's Mate early in 2015,
under the auspices of Retrospect Opera. The Boatswain's Mate will be performed using Smyth's arrangement for chamber ensemble. Smyth recognised that the work would have an even greater appeal if scored for a smaller resources. It was given in this version at the Luzerner
Theater in February 2014, to great acclaim.
Please donate! - we must raise substantial funds for this fully professional recording to take place. You can find more details about The Boatswain's Mate and about Retrospect Opera and its other projects on our website. We'll be very grateful for any amount you send, however we can't afford to give you a copy unless you can donate £30 or more.
Donate at least £30, and you become a Retrospect Supporter. You'll get the CD, your name on the website and you'll receive regular email updates on the progress of the recording, pictures of the rehearsals
once they start, and pictures taken at the recording sessions too.
Donate at least £75, and you become a Retrospect Sponsor. You get everything a Supporter gets, plus your name in the CD liner notes.
Donate £150, and become a Bosun's Mate! You'll get all the above, plus a second CD, your name highlighted in the CD liner notes, and the chance to attend the recording sessions in London, England.
Donate £250 or more, and become a Retrospect Friend. You'll get all the above, plus a copy of every future CD we produce as well.
Donations in sterling made via BACS, or by cheque or money-order, will help our not-for-profit organisation minimise bank charges. Please visit our web-page, click the Donate link, and download a pdf which gives our
bank details and our postal address. You can also donate via PayPal, for other currencies.
Please join us at Retrospect Opera in this splendid venture!
Silent Movie Score Composer Headlines Home Grown Food Festival In Major Double Bill
With a pronounced emphasis on provenance, Bude for Food announce home grown talent from Young Composer of the Year to add some spice to their food festival.
As autumn rolls in, and harvest festivals abound; restaurateurs and local foodies fuelled by passion have organised a not-for-profit food festival with a difference. Unsatisfied with just bringing together masses of exceptional food and drink, the Bude for Food festival committee indulge their hedonistic side to bring an events program fuelled by freshly cut beats.
The evening of Saturday 20th September marks the second night of the Bude for Food festival and the marquee is set to be packed full as the venue for some seriously special live music to celebrate the big weekend.
Hailing from the depths of Cornwall, Freshly Squeezed are an eight piece funk fuelled behemoth with a penchant for filthy funk, jazzy breaks and a high-energy horn section. Famous for their outstanding musicianship; infectious, irrepressibly energetic performances; and filling the dance floors of England (and Cornwall!) with fun filled frenzy.
If their hip-swivelling basslines alone are not enough to make readers hungry for Bude’s brand new food fest, the festival are also proud to present the alter ego of Freshly Squeezed, whose debut performance will provide aural nourishment.
Vengeful vocals, tongue-twisting freestyle, heavy horns and a burning hot rhythm section, Antimatador will create something never heard before. Fusing hip-hop, funk, electronica, soul, rock and drum and bass, the South West based outfit deliver a nuclear explosion of high-energy vibes.
The double bill band are made up of some of Cornwall’s finest musicians who have played with the likes of Otis Redding, Madness, Beverley Knight and Joss Stone.
The band also features local ‘badcore horns’ boy Simon Dobson who has an array of awards under his belt including the prestigious ‘British Music Composer Of The Year’ (2012) bringing big band back for the modern era.
Recently Dobson composed the score for the renovated iconic film The Battles of Coronel and Falkland Islands, which will be unveiled as part of the BFI's Gala Film Festival in October. He described the score as a "cinematic [work] inspired by the popular tradition of military brass, which takes the viewer on an exciting but respectful journey through the dramatic and dark events of the two battles with a suitably engaging and occasionally dissonant score."
See here for details
The Armstrong Gibbs Festival 2014
at The Parish Church of St John Baptist Danbury 19th, 20th and 21st of September 2014
Friday 19th September 12.00pm
The Festival begins with a short,
all-English recital of music for piano
and flute including works by
Armstrong Gibbs and George
Tim Carey - Piano
Kia Bennett - Flute
Concert only £8.00
The recital will be followed by the Festival Lunch
A delicious two-course lunch, with a glass of wine, served in the Meeting Room, with an opportunity to meet the artists.
Concert and Lunch £17.00
Tickets for the lunch must be purchased at least 48 hours in advance.
Saturday 20th September 11.00am
A workshop performance of an eco-cantata by Cecilia McDowall
sung by children from St John's C of E Primary School, Danbury,
Danbury Park Community School,
Priory Primary School,
The Sandon School &
St Mary's C of E Primary School, Woodham Ferrers
The Gibbs Festival Ensemble
Simon Warne - Director
Saturday 20th September 1.00pm
A lunch party to be held in the
Mayor's Parlour at the Civic Centre, Chelmsfordd to celebrate the publication of:
ARMSTRONG GIBBS -
"A countryman born and bred" With the authors Angela Aries, Michael Pilkington, and Lewis Foreman
£20.00 - Tickets must be purchased at least 48 hours in advance.
Saturday 20th September 7.30pm
London Piano Trio and friends form a piano quintet in a concert featuring Ryuichi Sakamoto's music to the film "Merry Christmas, Mr Lawrence"
and the well-loved Dvorak Piano Quintet No.2.
Ryuichi Sakamoto: 1919
Cecil Armstrong Gibbs: String Quartet, Op.99
Dvorak: Piano Quintet No.2 in A major, Op.81
Robert Atchison - Violin
Olga Dudnik - Piano
David Jones - Cello
William Hawkes - Viola
Jaqueline Hartley - Violin
Sunday 21st September 10.00am
Festival Choral Eucharist
Paul Hagger - Organ
Christopher Kingsley - Director of Music
Revd Olive Ashley - Rector
Sunday 21st September 3.00pm
Tea with Dr Gibbs
Afternoon tea served in the meeting room, interspersed with songs by Gibbs and his contemporaries
Carolyn Cook - Soprano
Gillian Ward Russell - Piano
For tickets and further information
Telephone: 01245 223744 or 01245 225452 or e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Alternatively, send a cheque with info on the event(s) you want
and send it with an s.a.e. and a cheque for the total amount made payable to:
The Armstrong Gibbs Society
Please send to:
The Festival Box Office
97 Main Road
CHELMSFORD CM3 4DL
The Jerome Booth Charitable Fund,
The Michael Gough Bequest &
The Armstrong Gibbs Society
A Holst celebration in Oxford:
Choral Hymns from the Rig Veda
Corona Strings together with CHOROS chamber choir, under conductor Janet Lincé and with internationally renowned soloists, will take listeners on a beguiling eastern-inspired spiritual journey during their all-Holst concert, being performed at St John the Evangelist Church in Oxford on Saturday 27th September at 7.30pm. This enticing programme includes a rare fully-staged performance of Holst’s powerful opera ‘Savitri’ and a selection from his ethereal ‘Choral Hymns from the Rig Veda’.
The performance is being staged under the Directorship of Nina Brazier, with soloists Yvonne Howard, soprano; Mark Chaundy, tenor, and Matthew Hargreaves, baritone.
Conductor Janet Lincé said “I have been drawn to Holst’s music ever since singing his ‘Hymn of Jesus’ in my teens. I found that the composer really understands the human voice and his use of off-stage wordless chorus in his opera ‘Savitri’ is magical. It is a powerful and moving work and although the orchestra specified is tiny, it’s hugely effective. The dark-toned cor anglais has to be my favourite instrument at the moment!”
Corona, formed in 2012, is a professional string orchestra based mainly in and around Oxford and known as a flexible and vibrant ensemble which includes a fine group of ‘period’ instrument players at its core. Its repertoire showcases many of the standard classical works and the players share a particular enjoyment for programming pieces by home-grown composers.
Having cycled through the Algerian desert in 1908, on his Doctor’s advice to travel somewhere warmer, Gustav Holst returned invigorated and began work on a new opera – ‘Savitri’: the story of the triumph of love over death, based on the great Sanskrit classic, the ‘Mahabharata’.
Holst had a fascination for ancient Indian literature and philosophy and understood the significance of the sacred texts such as the ‘Vedas’ and ‘Upanishads’ and epics such as the ‘Mahabharata’. Holst said that the music and words for ‘Savitri’ “really grew together”, developing organically into a compact and perfect form.
Holst taught himself Sanskrit in order to write a more coherent English libretto, simplifying the story but taking some liberties with the characters. The opera, which lasts barely half an hour, contains only three characters with a small orchestra and wordless female chorus, but has an impact and resonance all of its own. It is an opera that has been somewhat neglected but is now finding its rightful place as one of the most significant of the twentieth century.
“St John’s Church is the perfect venue for this work” added conductor, Janet Lince “and we’ll be using the whole space to create a really special atmosphere. All the performers are very excited about this unique project”.
The accompanying Holst works include the neo-classical ‘Fugal Concerto’ and the second and third sets of ‘Choral Hymns from the Rig Veda’; another of Holst’s works which set some of the oldest sacred Sanskrit texts; the sense of which is brilliantly reflected in this atmospheric music.
How to book:
Tickets £16 (£12 concessions; £5 full-time students and under 18’s)
On the door: Church of St John the Evangelist, 109A Iffley Road, Oxford OX4 1EH or in advance from: www.sje-oxford.org or from ‘Tickets Oxford’: tel. 01865 305305
Searching for the music for Eleanor Farjeon's Sussex Alphabet
This concerns a project that I am developing with South Downs National Park. As I am sure you are aware this is the newest of the National Parks to be created in the UK, though in terms of the time it took, it's almost the oldest! As part of the celebration of its existence we are planning both to republish Eleanor Farjeon's Sussex Alphabet - a series of poems characterised by fantasy, humour and deep love of the county. At the same time we will produce a new set of poems which we hope the school children in the Park will write - and publish these as A Southdowns Alphabet.
Beside these lovely poems and, of course, Morning Has Broken - set to music by Cat Stevens - Eleanor also wrote a poem On The Road to Alfriston which is, in fact, the village where I live.
Though her original Sussex Alphabet was published by Pear Tree Press in 1939 she actually wrote the poems in 1924 and these were set to music by her brother, Harry.
My colleague Peter Robinson has a copy of both the Pear Tree publication and the musical poems.
However, as Peter wrote: It seems my scarce copy of the Sussex Alphabet set to brother Harry Farjeon's music, is only Vol. 1 of 2. It takes us up to 'N': Nightingales. However, for our purposes it has the all important 'D': Downs poem. Incidentally, you will see that this was in fact Harry Farjeon's own copy -it is signed bottom right on the front cover.
We are trying urgently to do four things and this led us to Mr Scowcroft's web site and your name. We would like to try to find the two volumes of this music and, if possible, get everything in a form so that a pianist and and eventually a school choir could sing these poems again - and eventually sing our new poems too. So this will require another composer, but we'll deal with the first problem at the moment.
Thank you for your advice and help. I can be reached on 01323 870073 or at email@example.com
Julian Lloyd Webber’s last ever filmed performance as a cellist available to watch now
On 3 April 2014, Julian Lloyd Webber, along with wife Jiaxin and accompanist Pam Chowhan, launched Rhinegold LIVE with music from their recent Tale of Two Cellos tour. Just a few weeks later Julian announced his retirement from performance due to a herniated disc in his neck.
The concert was filmed, and four videos are now available to watch at Rheingold UK. The four videos represent Julian’s last ever filmed performance as a cellist:
- Summer Sunset, by Roger Quilter
- Moon Silver, by William Lloyd Webber
- Prelude from ‘The Gadfly’, by Dmitri Shostakovich
- All I Have to Do Is Dream, The Everly Brothers
The videos are available as part of Rhinegold LIVE’s commitment to offering accessible and affordable music to all. Also available is a live audio recording of the informal Q&A that followed their recital, in which the trio discuss stories from their most recent tour, William Lloyd Webber’s centenary year, the differences between playing classical and rock, Julian’s passion for Leyton Orient and the importance of music education.
All Rhinegold LIVE material is recorded using the AKG C414, and Pam plays a Schimmel Konzert Grand kindly donated by Peregrine’s Pianos.
This concert was sponsored by Teacher Stern solicitors.
Online Polish music resource
I would like to draw your attention to the new project dedicated to Polish renowned composers Witold Lutoslawski, Henryk Mikołaj Górecki and Krzysztof Penderecki. The aim of the project is to make works of these composers avaiable to the wider public. It is a venture of the National Audiovisual Institute of Poland, a government agency under the Ministry of Culture with a mission to digitize, archive, record, share and promote Polish audiovisual heritage.
To celebrate the jubilee anniversary of the birth of Lutoslawski, Gorecki and Penderecki we have launched www.threecomposers.pl an on-line music collection containing almost all the works by Witold Lutosławski, Krzysztof Penderecki and Henryk Mikołaj Górecki. The recordings, at full lenght, have been carefully selected for the highest artistic level or their special historical value.
The whole content of the collection is available to the public all over the world for free.
The collection comprises nearly 300 pieces composed since 1924 up to present (in at least one audio recording), which have been enriched with 950 articles in Polish and English language version, concerning genesis or the circumstances of creating a given composition. This service have been developed by a team of experts - musicologists and music critics. Moreover, the collection consists of a number of additional contextual, iconographic and film materials, providing information on the life and works of the artists. Over 70 per cent of the collection comprises recordings from the archives of Polish Radio, digitized at our initiative.
Among the recordings available, one can listen to performances of the world-renowned instrumentalists and bands, including inter alia Anne-Sophie Mutter performing Lutosławski’s "Chain II. Dialogue for Violin and Orchestra", conducted by Jan Krenz; Krystian Zimmerman performing for the very first time in Poland Lutosławski’s "Piano Concerto" dedicated to him, under the baton of the composer; Mstislav Rostropovich in Penderecki's "II. Concerto for Cello” or the Kronos Quartet in registrations of string quartets of the Three Composers.
On some recordings, the great composers also perform as instrumentalists, for example Witold Lutosławski playing his "Folk Melodies", "Bucolics" and "Three Pieces for youth" on the piano; Henryk Mikołaj Górecki, accompanies Wanda Warska at the piano, who sings "Three fragments to the words of Wyspiański" and Krzysztof Penderecki, also playing the piano (!), accompanies Eugenia Umińska while she performs "Three miniatures for violin and piano".
Moreover, at the website one can find recordings that had never before been recorded for commercial purposes, such as Penderecki’s opera "Black Mask" performed at the Teatr Wielki in Warsaw (September 1988) directed by Robert Satanowski; and the world premiere records of such works as Lutosławski’s "String Overture " from 1949 recorded in Prague under the direction of Grzegorz Fitelberg.
The collection includes also some very rare musical "gems" such as a two-minute fanfare "Wratislaviae gloria" composed by Górecki in 1968 for Andrzej Markowski, the then head of the Wroclaw Philharmonic Orchestra, or electronic "Aulodia" by Penderecki - the first proposal of a piece that was supposed to dignify the opening ceremony of the Olympic Games in Munich in 1972.
National Audiovisual Institute of Poland
My name is Steve Pazin and I am a member of the Clovis Community Band of Clovis, California. The band is going to play a selection named “Normandy Veterans March” by Chris North. I can not find any performance notes regarding this selection. I know that he was born around 1910 and died around 1949. I assume he composed this march recognizing the Veteran’s who were part of the Normandy invasion on June 6, 1944.
I would appreciate any information you or any of your colleagues could pass along to me. We’re going to perform this march this weekend.
Anyone who can help, please email Rob Barnett.
And all the trumpets sounded by Ronald Corp
Commissioned by the Highgate Choral Society and completed in 1989, the cantata is a setting of verses from the Latin poem Dies irae and war poems by Charles Hamilton Sorley, Wilfred Owen, Rupert Brooke, and Edward Thomas. The central section is a setting of Vigil Strange by Walt Whitman which tells of the death of a young comrade in battle.
And all the trumpets sounded was intended as a companion piece to Vaughan Williams’ Dona nobis pacem and owes a debt to Britten’s War Requiem.
Reviews after the first performance in Highgate:-
‘......a major work which should find a place in our great choral repertory’ (The Hampstead and Highgate Express)
‘Even after a single hearing there is no doubt that And all the trumpets sounded deserves to find a place in the programme of our choral societies, and I recommend it to the Three Choirs Festival. (Musical Opinion)
Now on CD - Dutton Epoch CDLX7280
Mark Stone (baritone); New London Children’s Choir: The London Chorus: Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra/Ronald Corp
International Record Review - April 2012
‘the shadow of Britten may inevitably loom, and with textures dominated, as you would expect from the title (drawn from John Bunyan, not otherwise set here) by trumpets and bass drum, there is no avoiding the fact. All the same Corp is his own man, for the most part steering clear, or so it seems to me, of Britten’s sometimes biting astringency’ (Piers Burton-Page)
Fanfare July/August 2012
‘this is first class music of a sort sorely needed’......’from the first bar to the last this is a moving, powerful piece’ (James A Altena)
The work is scored for baritone soloist, SATB choir with optional children’s choir (or soprano solo) and modest orchestra - 2222.2300. timp perc (2) and strings.
Duration 38 - 40 minutes
Published by Stainer and Bell
Web site: www.ronaldcorp.com
March 1st 2013
I am presently researching the late Victorian / Edwardian composer,
arranger and teacher, Wilfred Ellington Bendall (1850-1920), who was
friend and secretary to Sir Arthur Sullivan, and professor of piano
at the recently formed Guildhall School of Music (from c.1888-c.1905).
I shall be interested to hear anything that anybody has to tell me
about Bendall, particularly anything relating to autograph manuscripts
of his music, or the whereabouts of band parts, vocal score material
etc for any of his stage shows.
I am especially keen to find photographs of Wilfred Bendall, and would
also be thrilled to discover any living relations.
Please contact me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org
Questions concerning Bliss’s Things to Come (TTC) film score
and concert suite:-
1. According to the BBC John Curwen & Sons Ltd. provided the orchestral
parts for the Proms premiere Sept 12 1935. Why Curwen and not Chappell
& Co? Did Chappell outsource parts to Curwen and was this common
with Bliss’s scores?
2. Given the above, have Curwen ever been contacted about Bliss’s
TTC score? What happened to Curwen’s archive and music plates?
3. I own a rare score, the full symphonic edition of the March by
Novello. The year of publication is 1939 (Lewis Foreman catalogue
lists 1937?). The remaining five movements of Bliss’s definitive
concert suite are copyright dated 1940. Why the difference in years?
Also, the back cover of the March Novello full score lists seven movements
including World in Ruin and Machines . As the definitive suite does
not include World in Ruin was this simply a typo error by Novello?
If not, could Novello still hold a plate for World in Ruin? Altogether
I have counted four different versions of the concert suite: Proms
1935, Proms 1936, the Novello full symphonic edition from 1939/40
and Bliss’s recording 1957.
4. A letter (April 6 1938) from Doris Silver, London Films to Basil
Gray, BBC lists eight movements to the film score but for some reason
omits completely the March. Any views why and is there any possible
connection here with the year 1939 mentioned above and transfer of
the rights for the March from Chappell to Novello?
5. Following on from this, what exactly was the arrangement over the
score rights between Chappell & Co. and Novello?
6. With regard to the Idyll movement, is there any physical evidence
this music was later recycled by the composer?
7. Does anyone own a copy of Decca matrix TA 1734 (untitled, possibly
Bliss’s abandoned Idyll music).
8. Have any BMS members spoken to Bliss in person about the missing
film score and why only Attack on the Moon Gun survived?
9. Did Bliss sanction use of his No.1 of 3 Jubilant Fanfares (or a
variant thereof) in the film?
10. Does anyone have knowledge of the so-called Utopian Hymn recorded
& discarded by Denham Film Studios (78 rpm recording owned by
the late John Huntley).
Thank you for any help or suggestions you are able to offer