From today’s lunchtime concert with the New Perspectives Ensemble, conducted by Timothy Lines, and the post-concert Q&A session.
Images © Sounds New / Peter Cook
Stockhausen’s Tierkreis (Zodiac) comes to Canterbury as part of Sounds New next month, in a performance from the New Perspectives ensemble, conducted by Timothy Lines.
Written in 1975, Tierkreis comprises twelve melodies for each of the twelve signs of the Zodiac; originally written for twelve music boxes, Stockhausen issued the piece in several different arrangements, allowing each interpreter to create his or her own version by using special formulas. It is one of the most beautiful and accessible of Stockhausen’s compositions, with each melody based on a serial concept, although not all the material adheres strictly to a twelve-tone row.
This will be a day wherein students from The Royal College of Music, the experimental ensemble New Perspectives, directed by Timothy Lines, himself an established clarinettist and performer with London Sinfonietta, and students from Canterbury Christ Church University will explore the piece. There will be a performance of the work, in a new interpretation created by the students, followed by a masterclass/workshop with the conductor (other pieces in the concert will be announced shortly).
Sounds New is delighted to welcome the New Perspectives ensemble and Timothy Lines back to Canterbury; the group performed Jonathan Harvey’s Bhakti as part of the festival last year.
The concert is on Thursday May 9th at 1pm at St. Gregory’s centre for music, and will be followed by a talk. Tickets are £6; £5 (Friends) and free for CCCU students.
It’s been an epic few days across the Festival recently, ranging from intimate recitals to transcendental meditative states in Canterbury Cathedral.
Day seven on Thursday saw a lunchtime recital In Praise of Dreams with soprano Rhona McKail and pianist Yshani Perinpanayagam in their lunchtime recital, before the focus shifted out to the Turner Contemporary gallery at Margate for the world premiere of Les Malèdictions d’une Furie, a monodrama by John Croft performed by Loré Lixenberg. Prior to the performance, both Croft and Lixenberg appeared in conversation with Festival Director, Paul Edlin.
Friday’s lunchtime concert was a sonic exploration in the youthful company of the New Perspectives ensemble, in the chamber-ensemble-meets-electronics world of Jonathan Harvey’s Bhakti; young performers from the Royal College of Music, conducted by Timothy Lines, bathed the audience in the rich colours of Harvey’s unique and visionary soundworld. St Gregory’s was full to bursting for the concert, to the extent that festival assistants were having to put out extra chairs as audience members continued to arrive right up until the concert began.
The visionary nature of the day continued into the evening, as Canterbury Cathedral echoed to the sounds of John Tavener’s The Veil of the Temple, an large-scale meditative work for which the composer himself, in frail health, made the pilgrimage to Canterbury. Nigel Short led Tenebrae and members of the English Chamber Orchestra in Tavener’s epic, all-embracing pan-religious odyssey, which after its two-and-three-quarter-hour performance was greeted with rapturous applause. (The composer himself can be seen seated in the front row on the left in the photo below).
Yesterday’s events continued the journey into the stars, with Darrah Morgan Exploding Stars in works for violin and electronics, including the premiere of Jonty Harrisons’ Some of its Parts. Earlier in the morning, composer Frank Lyons ranged freely over an eclectic range of musical styles in a composition workshop. Top-brass came to the Festival in the evening, as the Grimethorpe Colliery Band (wryly observing on Twittter earlier in the day that they were en route to a ‘local gig’) came to the Cathedral with a programme including John McCabe’s Cloudcatcher Fells and an arrangements for brass of Holst’s The Planets, which, in its original incarnation as Paul Edlin observed, remains one of the previous century’s most influential works.
Against the backdrop of all this, the New Music in Britain conference unfolded in a series of papers and talks exploring aspects of the British contemporary musical landscape and papers focusing on key composers including Birtwistle and Maxwell Davies.
And it doesn’t stop there. There are still three days yet to come, with today’s celebration of Worldwide Mother’s Day in a feast of family events at the Gulbenkian, and a visit from legendary British jazz pianist Julian Joseph tonight.
Images: Peter Cook