BRISTOL SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA FEATURING
CHARLES MUTTER | VIOLIN
SYMPHONY OF SPRING SATURDAY 23 MARCH 2019
CLIFTON CATHEDRAL bristolsymphonyorchestra.com CONCERT PROGRAMME
CONCERTS IN 2019 SATURDAY JUNE 22 CLIFTON CATHEDRAL | 8PM
JAZZ MEETS BRISTOL SYMPHONY GARETH LOCKRANE QUARTET DAKHLA BRASS ___________________________ For the third in its Jazz Meets Bristol Symphony concerts, conductor William Goodchild and the Orchestra are collaborating with two exciting and cutting edge combos. London-based jazz flautist Gareth Lockrane - his big band having just scooped Best Big Band in the 2018 British Jazz Awards - brings his quartet to Bristol and will be performing pieces especially arranged for Bristol Symphony from his latest album, Fistfight at the Barndance, which is available on Whirlwind Records. Also on the billing – and to open the night’s performance - is Bristol based sextet, Dakhla Brass, who will join the Orchestra to play tunes from the band’s latest and highly acclaimed album, Murmur, (Impossible Arc Records). Come early and enjoy a drink on the terrace before this feast of Jazz Meets Bristol Symphony begins.
SATURDAY NOV 23 ST GEORGE’S BRISTOL | 7.30PM
HEARTBEAT HARRIET RILEY | PERCUSSION BRISTOL SYMPHONY _____________________________ A programme that explores all aspects of the heart - physical, emotional and metaphysical - and its relationship with music. The programme includes a world premiere of a specially commissioned new work for percussionist Harriet Riley and Bristol Symphony composed by William Goodchild, and culminates in a performance of Rachmaninov’s magnificent Second Symphony. Come early and enjoy a drink in the lovely new bar at St George’s.
FOR FUTHER CONCERT DETAILS AND BOX OFFICE: www.bristolsymphonyorchestra.com
WELCOME Dear All, A very warm welcome to you for this evening’s concert, Symphony of Spring. For tonight’s performance, we are joined by violinist Charles Mutter, who will be the soloist in two exciting new works written specifically for him: Bremania by Peter Cowdrey and Concerto in One Act for violin and orchestra by Guy Barker: both works receive their UK Premieres tonight. Charles has also been working with the Orchestra as a Guest Leader, bringing his extraordinary knowledge and experience into our rehearsals and helping to develop the Orchestra’s sound. Our sincere thanks go to Helen and Peter Wilde for their generous support of Bristol Symphony. Peter has also recently joined the Orchestra as Creative Director, developing and designing the visual and narrative elements of our performances, as well as writing our programme notes. Effusive thanks also to our enthusiastic and generous benefactor, Steve Pain. Thank you for joining us. We hope you will find much to delight, surprise and move you in the music you hear this evening, and that you have an enjoyable and memorable time. William Goodchild Artistic Director and Conductor | Bristol Symphony Orchesta
As spring wakens the natural world, tonight Bristol Symphony Orchestra brings together works of 20th and 21st century English composers to lift your spirits, to appreciate nature and perhaps also to challenge your imagination. The programme is full of beautiful music, but everywhere there are hints of mystery or surprise. Bremania is a short and lively start with all sorts of amazing connections. The inspiration for its composition (and the name) was the Brexit vote of 2016 and perhaps all that has followed. This certainly sets the listener the challenge of combining enjoyment with some hard thinking! Holst’s Egdon Heath is a very special piece, inspired by the Dorset heathlands of Thomas Hardy. It is extraordinarily profound and evocative, the colours, tones and rhythms slowly shifting and taking us into a timeless landscape. These few minutes will allow your fertile imagination to run free, or perhaps you might just sit back and relax. Written 88 years later, Guy Barker’s Violin Concerto certainly brings us up to date with modern rhythms and sounds but, in the middle section, you will be taken back to the impressionism of the early twentieth century. See what you make of it. Vaughan Williams’ magnificent fifth symphony was regarded by many as his finest achievement. There is serene beauty in the unfolding and ever-changing music so imagine being at its première during the Second World War. Peter Wilde Creative Director | Bristol Symphony Orchestra
Peter Cowdrey Bremania * UK Premiere Gustav Holst Egdon Heath Guy Barker Concerto in One Act for Violin and Orchestra * UK Premiere
I N T ER V A L 20 MINUTES
Ralph Vaughan Williams Symphony No. 5, D major
Please remember to switch off all digital devices during the concert. Thank you
PROGRAMME NOTES Peter Cowdrey Bremania UK (2016) *UK Première This witty and irreverent composition was premièred by the BBC Concert Orchestra in Bucharest, immediately after the Brexit vote. Built around a traditional Romanian tune, Ciocarlia (The Skylark), the violin, flute and bagpipe soloists and the orchestra, take us on a whistle stop tour across Europe and back again, linked throughout by birdsong melodies. You might even hear a lark ascending…… Perhaps it reminds us that, whilst we divide up our world into countries and cultures, nature and songbirds know no such boundaries.
which at the first glance present a flat, monochrome surface and come to life gradually as the eye probes into them. It is restless, austere, brooding and questioning.’
Gustav Holst Egdon Heath
Guy Barker Violin Concerto in One Act (2016) *UK Première
Opus 47, H172 (1927) A Homage to Thomas Hardy A place perfectly accordant with man’s nature – neither ghastly, hateful, nor ugly; neither common-place, unmeaning, nor tame; but, like man, slighted and enduring; and withal singularly colossal and mysterious in its swarthy monotony! From Thomas Hardy’s The Return of the Native. Egdon Heath was a place of great importance and symbolic meaning for Thomas Hardy – a representation of our relationship with nature and our place in the greater scheme of cosmic understanding. In 1934, the Music Times wrote, ‘Its chromaticism verges on the atonal, yet the effect is not vague in the musical sense. It is the emotion that sets the ear guessing. It is one more frequently expressed by painters. One is reminded of those landscapes,
Contemporary composer and lecturer Phillip Cooke describes the music as ‘elusive and unpredictable with three main elements: a pulseless, wandering string melody, a sad brass processional, and restless music for strings and oboe.’ He considers the piece as ‘one of the greatest ever composed by a British composer.’
This extraordinary one movement concerto was composed for tonight’s soloist Charles Mutter. Charles gave free rein to the composer who, unconstrained by technical concerns, pushed the instrument to its limits. The violin solo starts in the first section almost immediately, fluttering above the strings and punctuated by staccato orchestral rhythms. There is an element of conflict between the soloist and the orchestra, the music reflecting jazz influences. In the central section, the violin solo leads us into a slower and more mysterious section. We might even be back on Egdon Heath. The final section builds dramatically to faster changing rhythms, all the main elements of the orchestra having prominent sections. We hear interjections of characteristic staccato brass chords leading to the final concluding flourish.
PROGRAMME NOTES Ralph Vaughan Williams Symphony No. 5 in D major (i) Preludio (ii) Scherzo (iii) Romanza (iv) Passacaglia Written between 1938 and 1943, one wonders how, at such a time, Vaughan Williams could produce a work of such tranquil contemplation. Many themes in the symphony stem from Vaughan Williams' unfinished opera, The Pilgrim's Progress, which he had been working on for thirty years. The symphony was premiered in June 1943 at the Royal Albert Hall by the London Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by the composer. In the calm and mysterious opening we hear french horns over low strings before the memorable main melody emerges. A prolonged development leads to the theme finally being taken on by brass and timpani before the movement comes to a rather tentative end. On the face of it, the Scherzo seems more conventional with its regular dance rhythms, but it never quite becomes cheerful, the mood always seeming to hold back. In the Romanza, the cor anglais takes on the song of the pilgrim in his Pilgrim’s Progress. There is a certain stateliness, interrupted by occasional, unexpected and unsettling short strident sections, but it steadily builds to its restrained climax before the solo violin leads us into a beautiful and delicate conclusion. The final movement includes variations over a new repetitive theme, opened by the lower strings. Some of these variations are more hopeful than we have heard so far. Later, the familiar theme of the first movement subtly reappears before an extremely tender and definitive conclusion.
Ralph Vaughan Williams 1872-1958 & Gustav Holst 1874-1934 Ralph Vaughan Williams and Gustav Holst were both born in Gloucestershire but only met later in 1895 as students at the Royal College of Music. Vaughan Williams was the third child of a vicar. The well-to-do family had strong moral views and a progressive social outlook. Holst was the elder of two children of a professional musician and a solicitor. Gustav had hoped to be a pianist but was prevented by neuritis, saying that his right arm felt ‘like a jelly overcharged with electricity’, although he did subsequently become an accomplished trombonist. From their first meeting they became great friends, enjoying each other’s company, walking and talking in the countryside and above all, playing and composing music. They were one another’s chief critics, supporting and encouraging one another in their musical work. Holst and Vaughan Williams were influenced by their teachers Hubert Parry and Charles Villiers Stanford, and both were passionate about English folk song at a time when musicians and composers were attempting to define an English voice. Vaughan Williams went on to make a notable collection of English folk songs. The programme for the 1921 Three Choirs Festival, held in Hereford, featured the music of the two composers: Vaughan Williams conducted his Fantasia on a Theme by Thomas Tallis for string orchestra, while Host conducted his The Hymn of Jesus for choir and orchestra, a work dedicated to Vaughan Williams.
PROGRAMME NOTES The early 20th century was a period of great creativity and artistic interest. Impressionist and modernist painters were coming to terms with new technology whilst also being concerned with people’s relationship with the natural world. It was the time of the Arts and Crafts movement, led by William Morris, with its strong links to nature. Holst attended lectures at Morris’s home and also met influential writers, including George Bernard Shaw. His friendship with Thomas Hardy led to them going on a walking trip in Dorset, which inspired his later composition of Egdon Heath. Music was moving into modernism and impressionism, with both Holst and Vaughan Williams reflecting this in music that was atmospheric and fluid, beginning to break from the musical conventions of the Romantic period. Compositions were becoming more concerned with musical colour, orchestration and atmosphere; rhythms were more variable and unpredictable. In 1907 Vaughan Williams went to study with Ravel, perhaps the leading impressionist musician. By the outbreak of the First World War, Vaughan Williams had become well-established as a major influence in British music, but the War abruptly interrupted this golden age of creativity. Although 41, Vaughan Williams volunteered and served as an ambulance driver while Holst was frustrated that he was not passed fit for military service. During the War both men lost several close friends, including the composer George Butterworth. In 1927 Holst was commissioned by the New York Symphony Orchestra to write a symphony: instead, he wrote Egdon Heath. Holst had been
distressed by hostile reviews of some of his earlier works, but he was indifferent to critical opinion of Egdon Heath, which he regarded as his ‘most perfectly realised composition.’ Holst’s health deteriorated and he died following surgery in 1934. This was a severe personal and professional blow to Vaughan Williams. Glad of the advice and support of other friends, including Sir Adrian Boult and the composer Gerald Finzi, his relationship with Holst was irreplaceable. It took him some time after the First World War to resume fully active composition, but in the inter-war years he wrote a Mass and two operas, as well as lecturing and becoming president of the English Folk Dance and Song Society. Vaughan Williams’ 4th Symphony, completed in 1935, was violent and discordant and, although he denied any descriptive content, it might appear to herald World War II. It was thus a surprise to many that his 5th Symphony seemed so serene, some seeing it as valedictory in a 66 year old. This was not the case, as his post war years were most productive until his death in 1958, aged 85, just after the completion of his 9th Symphony.
This photograph of Holst (left) and Vaughan Williams (right) was taken during a walk in the Malvern Hills by fellow composer W G Whittaker.
VIOLIN SOLOIST CHARLES MUTTER ________________ Charles Mutter was born in 1970, in Sussex. He studied with Anthony Stevenson, Andrew Sherwood, Kenneth Piper, David Takeno and Simon Fischer. After working in London with such ground-breaking groups as the Kreisler String Orchestra, the Smith Quartet and the Orchestre Revolutionnaire et Romantique, Charles moved to Scotland. His work with the Edinburgh Quartet attracted much critical acclaim (notably a Gramophone “Editor’s Choice” for their recordings of Hans Gal) and from 2005 to 2014 he was artistic director of the Loch Shiel Spring Festival, featured regularly on Radio Scotland and BBC2’s The Culture Show.
Charles moved back to England in 2007 to take up the post of Associate Leader of the BBC Concert Orchestra. With them, he has performed solo works by Beethoven, Bruch, Dvorak, Jonny Greenwood, Nico
Muhly, Vaughan Williams and many others. In 2016, Guy Barker wrote a concerto especially for him, and tonight is its UK premiere. Throughout the 2018/19 season Charles has been performing Lutoslawski’s “Chain 2” for Rambert Dance Company, and in May he will be playing Brahms’ Double Concerto at the Brighton International Festival. Charles plays on a copy of the “Lord Wilton” Guarnerius made for him in 2007 by the brilliant young German luthier, Stephan von Baehr.
CONDUCTOR WILLIAM GOODCHILD _____________________ William Goodchild is a professional composer and conductor. He composes music for film, television, concert performance and commercial installation. Many of the 80 films he’s composed for the major broadcasters have won international awards. Since 2016, he has had three nominations for Best Composer at the RTS West of England Awards and, in 2016, was nominated for the Music Award at Wildscreen Festival for Jago - A Life Underwater. In 2017 he won Best Score at the Hollywood International Moving Pictures Film Festival for Living Spirit Pictures’ Seeing Him. Rise of the Warrior Apes (Discovery) won the Golden Panda at Wildscreen Festival 2018. On stage and in the recording studio, William has collaborated with a wide variety of international soloists including guitarist John Williams, singer Tom Jones, saxophonist Andy Sheppard and jazz quartet Get The Bless-
ing. William’s passion for working across styles led to a live and recorded collaboration with Mercury Prize-Winner, Roni Size & Reprazent, and their album, Live at Colston Hall, was released in November 2015. Also at the Colston Hall, with Sir David Attenborough presenting, William orchestrated and conducted the BBC’s Nature’s Great Events Live to a sell-out audience. The BBC’s Wild China series, orchestrated and conducted by William, won an Emmy. Many recordings conducted by William are available to buy on Sony Classical, Universal Classical and Jazz, and CBS Records. He has worked regularly with a number of professional orchestras including the BBC Concert Orchestra, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra and Bristol Ensemble. William is Artistic Director and Conductor of Bristol Symphony Orchestra.
BIOGRAPHIES GUY BARKER COMPOSER: CONCERTO IN ONE ACT Guy Barker’s career has taken him from jazz soloist and sideman, through bandleader, composer and latterly to being one of the most in demand arrangers in Europe. In instrumental jazz he has worked with Quincy Jones, Wynton Marsalis, John Dankworth, Stan Tracey and many others and toured with Frank Sinatra, Sammy Davis Jr, Lena Horne, Liza Minnelli and Mel Tormé. He has played sessions for rock and pop performers including Paul Weller, Sting, Van Morrison, Elvis Costello, Phil Collins, Grace Jones, Peter Gabriel, and George Michael. Classically he has performed with Lesley Garrett, Willard White and the London Symphony Orchestra, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Britten Sinfonia, Hong Kong Philharmonic and London Chamber Orchestra. Composing and arranging was always important for Guy, especially when Quincy Jones requested a copy of his opening score for an awards ceremony. Since 2008 he has been Musical Director and arranger for the annual Jazz Voice concert at the Barbican, which opens the London Jazz Festival. In 2012 Guy composed, with guitarist Martin Taylor, an orchestral suite dedicated to Django Reinhardt, which he conducted at the BBC Proms, and in 2013 he was appointed Associate Composer for the BBC Concert Orchestra. This led to several major compositions, including That Obscure Hurt for 75 musicians, co-production of Alison Balsom’s album Paris, arranging and conducting a Prom for Paloma Faith, and the premiere at the London Jazz
Festival of his Soho Symphony. In 2015 there followed a new trumpet concerto for Alison Balsom, The Lanterne of Light, which was premiered at the Proms. The BBC commissioned him to compose tonight’s violin concerto for Charles Mutter, leader of the BBC Concert Orchestra, and he has received another commission to a create a cello concerto. He is patron of Brass for Africa, supporting music education for disadvantaged children in Uganda. Guy was awarded the MBE in 2014.
BIOGRAPHIES PETER COWDREY
As a boy Peter loved listening to the dawn chorus but he was deeply frustrated at its inaccessibility it was too fast and too high. After spending much of his childhood studying ornithology, he is now delighted that recent technology has come to his rescue, making it possible to crack the hidden codes of birdsong. He is on a mission to share them with the rest of the world, especially children.
Vickie was taken to Saturday music classes from toddlerhood, and was fortunate to benefit from free tuition at Swindon Young Musicians. At the age of 7, she attended an orchestral concert and immediately announced that she “wanted to be that one that plays at the front”. The dye was cast, and she took up the violin soon afterwards. She developed a keen interest in chamber and orchestral playing in her teenage years, participating in Pro Corda and National Children’s Orchestra, and co-leading the National Schools Symphony Orchestra. During A-levels she studied at the Junior Royal Academy of Music where she led the winning quintet in their chamber music competition.
He won music scholarships to Winchester College and Trinity College Cambridge and studied composition with Oliver Knussen. His opera Zeller was performed by the Cambridge University Opera Society in 1985. In 1989, he founded the world music group Orbestra, a group of eight musicians recording folk music of numerous world cultures, and touring from Shetland to Bulgaria as well as South America. In 1995 he conducted the premiere of his A Garden Amidst Flames in Hagia Irene, one of Istanbul’s great basilicas. Peter’s works have been premiered at Schleswig Holstein Festival and in London at the Royal Albert Hall, Queen Elizabeth Hall and the Purcell Room. Bremania was commissioned by the BBC Concert Orchestra and premiered in Bucharest in October 2016.
She later went to Bristol University to study medicine, whilst making music with the University Singers, leading the Cabot Quartet and Bristol University Symphony Orchestra under the stewardship of John Pickard. Vickie has been playing with Bristol Symphony Orchestra since May 2017, having had an extended break from playing after university to focus instead on being a junior doctor, and, more recently, a mother. She recommenced playing on the instructions of her brother (former principal trumpet, Peter) who informed her one weekend that he had submitted an application on her behalf! Victoria works as an obstetrics and gynaecology registrar locally, and in her spare time loves cooking, horsing around with her son and walking in inclement weather. She is enjoying playing again immensely and thanks you for listening.
BRISTOL SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA FIRST VIOLIN
Guest Leader: Victoria Medland Giorgina Baxter Aimee Cottam Kate Fox Richard Hunt Lauren Bose Katherine Jillings Elea Mumford Gemma Nelson Jo Phillips Robert Tulloh Jeremy Zwiegelaar
Eloise Wyke Monique Ayres Pamela Bell Carys Bromby Caroline Azardron Naomi Hill Jessye Lennie Kenneth Price Rosanna Schultz
Heather Ashford Anita Urgyan Alexia Granatt Tim Grice Oliver Kohll Jonathan Nichols
Kathryn Thomas Vivien Arthur Sophie Barford Alexandra Biggs May-Lin Coxson Will Marriage Jayne Taylor Sarah Vesty Cathy Warner
Alex Pearson Clare Daley Martin Sanders Rhiannon Wilkinson
FLUTE & PICCOLO
Pippa Craggs Jane Lings Sarah Minns
OBOE COR ANGLAIS Olivia Jollands Tor Cooper Chris Burt
CLARINET BASS CLARINET
Sophie Wilsdon James Stallwood
BASSOON CONTRA BASSOON Daisy Woods Lucy Powell-Davies Mike Johnstone
Dave Ransom Kaitlyn Hamilton Paul Tomlinson Sophie Brown
Richard Bowman Simon Bowles Sarah Jessop
TROMBONE BASS TROMBONE Alex Aspinall Lyn Harradine Barry Scott
Christopher Fletcher-Campbell Joe HillyerÂ Harriet Riley
Jean Hasse ________________
Rachel Goodchild Design & Layout Jane Krish Editor Peter Wilde Programme Notes
Rosa Fay Potography
SUPPORTED BY Helen & Peter Wilde Stephen Pain
Concert Programme for Symphony of Spring concert Clifton Cathedral 23 March 2019 Soloist: Charles Mutter with Bristol Symphony This concert...
Published on Mar 21, 2019
Concert Programme for Symphony of Spring concert Clifton Cathedral 23 March 2019 Soloist: Charles Mutter with Bristol Symphony This concert...