SUMMER HOMEPAGE JULY 2015
1981 – incredible to think that it is thirty four years since the first International Conference for Conductors, Composers and Publishers was held in Manchester. William Wordsworth summed it up pretty well when he wrote:
Bliss was it in that dawn to be alive,
But to be young was very heaven!--Oh! times,
In which the meagre, stale, forbidding ways
Of custom, law, and statute, took at once
The attraction of a country in romance!
2015 – still time to book for WASBE in California, a feast of music-making at the highest level.
THREE 21ST CENTURY MASTERPIECES FOR WIND ORCHESTRA
I find it almost impossible to keep up with the wealth of great music for wind ensemble, but giving a lecture recently in Singapore sharpened my mind a little. I was due to discuss significant works of the last five years. I broadened it to cover the last fifteen, in fact the first fifteen of this century, tackling only European composers.In the first part, I concentrated on three composers of international importance, Magnus Lindberg, Poul Ruders and Stanislav Skrowaczewski, who have all been commissioned to write wind ensemble music by major symphony orchestras.
I began with a magnificent work by Magnus Lindberg, a work worthy to place alongside the Stravinsky Symphonies of Wind Instruments. Commissioned by Simon Rattle for the CBSO and premiered in 2000, the scoring is almost the same as in the Stravinsky with the addition of a bass clarinet.
POUL RUDERS – SONATAS
Published by Music Sales
Ruders is one of the leading Scandinavian composers of today, and his work for wind was written in 2011 and poremiered in Copenhagen. The composer writes:
The present suite SONATAS is a composition subtitled ´six pieces of music for large wind ensemble, percussion, piano and harp´. It opens with a REVEILLE, a short ´wake-up call´, a fanfare opening the gate into what follows. The second movement is called PASTORALE and certainly is that, a peaceful unfolding of gentle chords and sounds of a bucolic nature.
MUSIC FOR WINDS by Stanislav Skrowaczewski
…….great art is slowly disappearing and being replaced by superficial semi-culture.
The Composer writes:
For Music for Winds I was commissioned by a consortium of nine orchestras in four countries (the United States, Germany, Austria, and Japan). The initiator of this project is Dr. Frederick Harris, director of the wind orchestra at MIT in Boston. He knew that I had long since wanted to write a kind of symphony or concerto for winds, or more precisely for symphonic winds, the wind instruments that appear in the symphonies of the nineteenth to twenty-first centuries, from Beethoven to Shostakovich and beyond. The repertoire for the instruments is rather scarce, compared to the great repertoire for strings. I added three saxophones, of which two are less common and less often played, soprano and baritone saxophone. They enrich the wind section by extending the possibilities of sound quality. And to that I brought in percussion, very gently along with piano, celesta, and harp.
The work has four movements, which continue from one to the next without pause. There is a primary theme played at the beginning by clarinet and celesta and this weaves itself through all four movements, either in its original form or slightly modified. The listener may find the character or tone of the piece to be sad, mysterious, or even tragic. This could be my own reaction to the state of our world, in which great art is slowly disappearing and being replaced by superficial semi-culture.
NEWS FROM SINGAPORE
Luis Serrano Alarcón
Marco Polo – World Premiere of the complete Trilogy
Philharmonic Winds at the Esplanade Concert Hall Singapore15th Anniversary celebration concert
Sunday 21st June 2015 7.30pm
Conducted by Leonard Tan, Principal Conductor
Timothy Reynish, Principal Guest Conductor
Luis Serrano Alarcon composer/conductor
ELEVEN INTERNATIONAL WORKS
TO CONSIDER FOR NEXT YEAR’S PROGRAMMES
Symphony no 2 – Commedia
To be premiered at the WASBE Conference San Jose by the World Youth Wind Orchestra conductor Jose Rafael Pascal-Vilapena
July 18 at 4.00pm
A Street Car Named Desire by Milan Tarbuk
Lament by Chang Su Koh
Zurich-Oerlikon Symphonic Wind Band (CH)
Conductor Carlo Balmeli
All three works from this programme are available on Youtube, browse on the title for links to performances.
Le Premier Jour Jean Balissat
Double Concerto for Harp, Piano and Wind Oliver Waespi
Bulgarian Dances Franco Cesarini
Le Premier Jour by Balissat was a commission I believe from Felix Hauswirth and the lamented Uster Festival which the RNCM Wind Orchestra premiered in Switzerland in 1993. I have always enjoyed works by Oliver Waespi, and have written about them on my website; the Double Concerto is a large-scale romantic concerto, with problems over balance on this recording which is probably of the premiere. I first heard the Bulgarian Dances by Cesarini in Taiwan at the 2011 WASBE Conference and I wrote “Franco Cesarini is a wonderful orchestrator, and in Bulgarian Dances he has created a superb set of movements”
Singapore Sonorama by David Ward-Steinman (starts at 6.00) performed by Philharmonic Winds conducted by Leonard Tan
Las Hijas de Eris for solo cello and Band by Luis Serrano Alarcon performed by the Band Sinfonica ARMAB conductor Paolo Martins
Fata Morgana by Narong Prangcharoen performed by Triamudon Suksa Wing Symphony Orchestra
THREE FROM USA
Music for Wind Orchestra (No Strings Attached) by Andre Previn performed by New England Conservatory conducted by Charles Peltz
Browse on the title to find a webcast of the world premiere by Kevin Sedatole and the Michigan State University. The End of Knowing is a powerful setting of texts from poets Seamus Heaney, Alfred Noyes, Joseph Brodsky, Gjertrud Schnackenberg, Chidiock Tichborne, Theodore Worozbyt and James Joyce. Beaser describes the work as “a dramatic meditation on the nexus of religion, politics and the fragile human condition.”