julian anderson fantasias the crazed moon the discovery of heaven vladimir jurowski conductor ryan wigglesworth conductor LONDON PHILHARMONIC ORCHESTRA
© Maurice Foxall
Julian Anderson has been the London Philharmonic Orchestra’s Composer in Residence since 2010. Born in London in 1967, he studied composition with John Lambert, Alexander Goehr and Tristan Murail. His first acknowledged work, Diptych (1990), won the 1992 Royal Philharmonic Society Prize for Young Composers and his two commissions for the London Sinfonietta, Khorovod (1994) and Alhambra Fantasy (2000), have been widely performed in Europe and the USA. His other most-played works include the orchestral BBC Proms commission The Stations of the Sun (1998) and the chamber work Poetry Nearing Silence (1997), a commission from the Nash Ensemble. From 1996–2001 Anderson was Composer in Residence with the chamber orchestra Sinfonia 21; from 2000–05 he was Composer in Association with the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra; and in 2002 he was appointed Artistic Director of the Philharmonia
Orchestra’s ‘Music of Today’ series. Between 2005 and 2007 he was The Cleveland Orchestra’s Daniel R. Lewis Young Composer Fellow. His Book of Hours (2005), a piece for ensemble and electronics for Birmingham Contemporary Music Group, won the 2006 Royal Philharmonic Society Award for large-scale work. His interest in choral music led to a BBC Proms commission, Heaven is Shy of Earth, and to his Alleluia, commissioned by Southbank Centre to open the newly refurbished Royal Festival Hall in 2007. His work Harmony opened the 2013 BBC Proms. His opera Thebans will be premiered at English National Opera in May 2014, and in the 2013/14 season he also started a three-year post as Composer in Residence at Wigmore Hall. Previously Head of Composition at London’s Royal College of Music and Fanny Mason Professor of Music at Harvard University, Julian is currently Professor of Composition and Composer in Residence at the Guildhall School of Music & Drama.
This CD is the product of my first years as Composer in Residence with the London Philharmonic Orchestra, a post I began in October 2010. Working closely with a major international orchestra is always the greatest privilege and joy of a composer’s life. One learns so much, and communication with both the whole orchestra and individual players is fluid and flexible in a way not possible in the normal run of things. A deeper collaboration with the chief conductor – in this case the splendid Vladimir Jurowski – also becomes possible over several seasons. Above all, the living composer is no longer a mere spectre at the orchestral feast, but is integrated into orchestral life in a regular and productive way. I have been very fortunate to experience such residency posts with various orchestras both in the UK and the USA. The London Philharmonic Orchestra residency has embodied these benefits in plenty. I have much enjoyed the opportunities this post has afforded me: collaborating in detail with the LPO players, both on their wonderful interpretations of my previous orchestral works, and on newly composed pieces.
Fantasias (2009) is the product of my period as Daniel R. Lewis Young Composer Fellow with The Cleveland Orchestra. The Crazed Moon (1997) was written on commission from the BBC National Orchestra of Wales. The Discovery of Heaven is the most recent piece on the disc, and was composed for the London Philharmonic Orchestra on joint commission with the New York Philharmonic. The LPO’s great sympathy for this new piece was immediately evident at the first performance under the brilliant composer/ conductor Ryan Wigglesworth in March 2012, which is preserved on this CD. I would like to express my warmest thanks to the London Philharmonic Orchestra’s Chief Executive and Artistic Director, Timothy Walker; to his incredibly supportive team (led by Graham Wood) who have all aided this association very consistently; to the wonderful editing team at Floating Earth; and above all to the performers on this recording who have done such a splendid job with these pieces. Julian Anderson, August 2013
Fantasia I Presto ♩=160 Fantasia II ♩=92 Fantasia III Dolcissimo notturno ♩=46 Fantasia IV Molto allegro ♩=140 Fantasia V Prestissimo ♩=152 Commissioned by The Cleveland Orchestra with the generous support of Jan R. and Daniel R. Lewis. First performance: 19 November 2009, Severance Hall, Cleveland, USA: The Cleveland Orchestra/Jonathan Nott. Whereas most of my previous orchestral pieces were in one continuous movement, this work is in five separate movements of varying length. As suggested by the title, the form of each movement is unpredictable, featuring sudden changes, inserts from other movements, silences, or other features that cause the music to alter its course in terms of timbre, texture, harmony, polyphony or rhythmic layering. Several players double on instruments tuned a quarter-tone below normal pitch. This expands the range of harmonic colours available – the aim is not to sound out of tune – and is only used in a few special passages in the piece (for example at the end of the fourth Fantasia), to give a new tint to the orchestral texture.
The first Fantasia is for brass alone, and is generally fast, athletic and polyrhythmic. The second Fantasia is deliberately unstable: every few bars it changes direction abruptly. As the ideas accumulate, continuity gradually builds up but the movement disperses into echoes of itself before it can really cohere. The third movement, by contrast, is at first stable to the point of being almost motionless – a meditative nocturne in several simultaneous layers. Very slow, almost motionless string textures (using techniques such as bowing with excess pressure to produce a creaking sound, or else bowing with very little pressure) are heard against fast but strangely distant polyrhythmic fanfares on wind and some brass, mainly using ideas from the opening Fantasia. Longer and calmer melodic lines and ideas emerge from time to time. The movement stops suddenly twice. When it resumes a third time, the formerly distant fanfares have become suddenly very loud and wild. The extremely fast fourth Fantasia is as compressed as possible, lasting barely two minutes. The maximum number of musical events is forced into as small a span of time as possible. The movement ends twice: a final assertive chord is destabilised at once
the crazed moon
by a second conclusion that is much more uncertain. The final Fantasia is the longest, and is the only movement to proceed largely in a continuous flow. It starts with the last harmony of the opening brass movement and varies ideas from all movements, eventually uniting them into a long continuous line heard three times in a row near the end. The conclusion is disrupted just before the end by an insert looking back into the rich string textures of the third movement. Whether fast or slow, Fantasias is a celebration of the modern symphony orchestra. Fantasias is dedicated with affection, admiration and gratitude to my publisher Sally Cavender at Faber Music, for her tireless energy in promoting contemporary music.
Commissioned by the BBC. First performance: 20 July 1997, Cheltenham International Festival, Cheltenham Town Hall, UK: BBC National Orchestra of Wales/Tadaaki Otaka This piece takes its title from a poem by W. B. Yeats, in which he describes a frightening vision: ‘Crazed through much child-bearing / The moon is staggering in the sky.’ This image, combined with the disturbing lunar eclipse seen in March 1996, provided the starting point for a work for orchestra lasting about 14 minutes, in one continuous movement. The other factor determining the funereal mood of the work was the sudden death in September 1995 of a composer and friend, Graeme Smith, at the age of only 24. This piece is dedicated to his memory. The work opens with distant fanfares for three trumpets, emphasising the pitches G and E-flat (‘Es’ in German) – a reference to the initials (G. S.) of the dedicatee. The full orchestra then enters hesitantly, uncertainly, in the lowest register. The music gradually unfolds a long, slow harmonic progression, which is broken off before achieving completion. A change of direction ushers in bells, gongs and harps tolling the pitches G and E-flat, against which
the discovery of heaven
a sequence of lamenting melodic figures descends on woodwind and high strings. As these lines accumulate in considerable polyphonic density, the music swerves violently into far more volatile and hectic textures, before launching into the long central plateau of the work. Each layer simultaneously plays its own variants of a basic melodic line, with up to 30 different variants heard at once. Each new phrase of this heterophony is greeted by dissonant fanfares on high wind, brass and bells. The final phrase accelerates and, as it does so, the heterophony is gradually shut off as the orchestra combines into a unison. This collapses dramatically – as it were, the moment of eclipse – greeted by baying fanfares on brass. There follows a series of chorales. The final chorale is the most complex: two chorales unfold simultaneously on wind and strings, producing greater harmonic richness than anything else in the work. Just before this we hear a new chord from the harmonic sequence begun at the orchestra’s first entry. Following the final chorale, this chord sequence is finally brought to completion, and the distant trumpet fanfares return to conclude the work as a pedal E fades in the double basses.
Commissioned by the London Philharmonic Orchestra with kind support from The Boltini Trust and the Britten-Pears Foundation, and the New York Philharmonic (Alan Gilbert, Music Director). First performance: 24 March 2012, Royal Festival Hall, London, UK: London Philharmonic Orchestra/Ryan Wigglesworth. The Discovery of Heaven is a work in three movements, of which Parts 2 and 3 are played without a break. The two starting points were the novel of the same name by Dutch writer Harry Mulisch (1927–2010); and the ancient Japanese court music known as gagaku – in particular one of the best-known pieces in gagaku repertoire, called Etenraku, which literally means ‘music coming from heaven’. Harry Mulisch’s novel is a wild, almost out of control epic of a book. What attracted me to it was the vast scope of its narrative, its ability to move suddenly from a panoramic view of time to quite specific real events, some from recent history. Meanwhile, elements from gagaku influenced my textures and harmonies – especially the glistening sound of high, clustered chords in doubled multiple octaves on the sho mouth organ, which floats above most gagaku pieces like an image of heaven. These things influenced my piece but my
music is not in any way programmatic, nor is it an attempt to imitate gagaku. It must stand on its own terms. The Discovery of Heaven is dedicated to Jonathan Harvey. This performance won a 2012 South Bank Sky Arts Award in the Classical category. Part 1: An Echo from Heaven. This music comprises mainly very short or very long notes, with little between these two extremes. The flutes predominate, often playing breathy or gliding sounds inspired by Japanese flute technique. Repeated, glisteningly high chords on wind, string harmonics and sometimes bells evoke the sound of the Japanese sho mouth organ, with its multiple octaves. Various harmonic areas are explored, with a sudden confrontation between three of them near the end. The texture thins drastically at the conclusion. Part 2: In the Street might evoke the sensations experienced whilst walking a busy street in a modern metropolis – perhaps Paris or Amsterdam – passing by buskers, shoppers, pamphleteers, poets, dancers, protesters etc, all vying for one’s attention. The melodic lines, polyphonies, harmonies, sounds and
rhythms range from delicate and refined to the most raucous, with shifts between these often happening without warning. At first rather fragmentary, the musical atmosphere cumulatively becomes shrill and near chaotic, with strong rhythmic figures evoking a street party or perhaps a protest. This music topples over into: Part 3: Hymns. The orchestra plays two musics: very broad, lyrical, hymn-like sustained melodies on the brass and strings; and a wide variety of dense or unpitched accents and noises – debris from the previous movement, perhaps – centred around percussion, which spreads to other instruments playing in unorthodox ways. A violent struggle ensues: the noises try at all costs to stop the melodic lines. The more the melodies are attacked, the more they expand, blossoming into two, then three or four parts, as they accelerate. Eventually a wild unison melody based on the opening of the first movement spins at top speed across the entire range of the orchestra. The slow coda offers a fresh perspective: previous ideas combine with new harmonies and figures. But any resolution is avoided, and the work ends uncertainly. Julian Anderson
© Chris Christodoulou
VLADIMIR JUROWSKI conductor (Fantasias; The Crazed Moon)
Vladimir Jurowski was born in Moscow, but in 1990 moved with his family to Germany, where he completed his musical studies at the High Schools of Music in Dresden and Berlin. In 1995 he made a highly successful debut at the Wexford Festival conducting Rimsky-Korsakov’s May Night, which launched his international career. Since then he has been a guest at some of the world’s leading opera houses including the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden; Opéra Bastille de Paris; Welsh National Opera; Dresden Semperoper; Komische Oper Berlin; and the Metropolitan Opera, New York. Vladimir Jurowski was appointed Principal Guest Conductor of the London Philharmonic Orchestra in 2003, becoming the Orchestra’s Principal Conductor in 2007. He also holds the titles of Principal Artist of the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment and Artistic Director of the Russian State Academic Symphony Orchestra. He has also held the positions of First Kapellmeister of the Komische Oper Berlin (1997–2001), Principal Guest Conductor of
the Teatro Comunale di Bologna (2000–03), Principal Guest Conductor of the Russian National Orchestra (2005–09), and Music Director of Glyndebourne Festival Opera (2001–13). Vladimir Jurowski has appeared on the podium with many leading orchestras in Europe and North America including the Berlin and Vienna Philharmonic orchestras, the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, The Philadelphia Orchestra, the Boston and Chicago symphony orchestras, the Tonhalle-Orchester Zürich, the Gewandhausorchester Leipzig, and the Staatskapelle Dresden. The London Philharmonic Orchestra has released a wide selection of his live recordings on its LPO Label, including Brahms’s Symphonies Nos. 1 and 2; Mahler’s Symphonies Nos. 1 and 2; Rachmaninoff’s Symphonic Dances; Tchaikovsky’s Symphonies 1, 4, 5, 6 and Manfred; and works by Turnage, Holst, Britten, Shostakovich, Honegger and Haydn.
© Benjamin Ealovega
ryan wigglesworth conductor (The Discovery of Heaven)
Established as one of the foremost composer-conductors of his generation, Ryan Wigglesworth was named The Cleveland Orchestra’s Daniel R. Lewis Young Composer Fellow in 2013. The Orchestra gives the USA premiere of his work Sternenfall in spring 2014 conducted by Franz Welser-Möst. In 2012 Wigglesworth was appointed Composer in Residence at English National Opera. In the opera house, recent conducting highlights have included Detlev Glanert’s Caligula, Bizet’s Carmen and Mozart’s Così fan tutte for English National Opera; and Harrison Birtwistle’s The Minotaur for the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden. In the concert hall, recent and forthcoming collaborations include the London Philharmonic, BBC Symphony and Royal Liverpool Philharmonic orchestras, the Deutsche Symphonie Orchester (Berlin), the Residentie Orchestra and Chamber Orchestra of Europe; and appearances both as conductor and pianist with the Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra and Royal Northern Sinfonia. For the Aldeburgh Festival Ryan Wigglesworth
appeared both as conductor and composer in 2013, conducting the opening concert of the festival with Britten Sinfonia and composing a new orchestral work for the centenary of Benjamin Britten. 2014 sees a return to the Hallé Orchestra to conduct the UK premiere of his Violin Concerto with Barnabás Kelemen. Ryan Wigglesworth’s compositions include three works for the BBC Symphony Orchestra: Sternenfall (2007); The Genesis of Secrecy (2009), commissioned for the BBC Proms and premiered by Sir Andrew Davis; and Augenlieder, first performed by soprano Claire Booth in 2009. A First Book of Inventions (2010) was premiered by the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, and his Violin Concerto, for Gordan Nikolić and the Netherlands Chamber Orchestra, was premiered in Amsterdam in 2012. Current commissions include a song-cycle for tenor Mark Padmore and an orchestral work for The Cleveland Orchestra. Born in Yorkshire, Ryan Wigglesworth studied at New College, Oxford and the Guildhall School of Music & Drama. He was a Lecturer at Cambridge University and a Fellow of Corpus Christi College from 2007–09.
London Philharmonic orchestra
The London Philharmonic Orchestra has been Resident Symphony Orchestra at Southbank Centre’s Royal Festival Hall since 1992 and there
it presents its main series of concerts between September and May each year. In summer, the Orchestra moves to Sussex where it has been Resident at Glyndebourne Festival Opera for 50 years. The Orchestra also performs at venues around the UK and has made numerous tours to America, Europe and Japan, and visited India, Hong Kong, China, South Korea, Australia, Oman, South Africa and Abu Dhabi. The London Philharmonic Orchestra made its first recordings on 10 October 1932, just three days after its first public performance. It has recorded and broadcast regularly ever since, and in 2005 established its own record label. These recordings are taken mainly from live concerts given by conductors including LPO Principal Conductors from Beecham and Boult, through Haitink, Solti and Tennstedt, to Masur and Jurowski. lpo.org.uk
© Patrick Harrison
The London Philharmonic Orchestra is known as one of the world’s great orchestras with a reputation secured by its performances in the concert hall and opera house, its many award-winning recordings, its trail-blazing international tours and its pioneering education work. Distinguished conductors who have held positions with the Orchestra since its foundation in 1932 by Sir Thomas Beecham include Sir Adrian Boult, Sir John Pritchard, Bernard Haitink, Sir Georg Solti, Klaus Tennstedt, Franz Welser-Möst and Kurt Masur. Vladimir Jurowski was appointed the Orchestra’s Principal Guest Conductor in March 2003 and became Principal Conductor in September 2007.
Also available: contemporary composers on the LPO Label
Scherzoid; Evening Songs; When I Woke; Yet Another Set To
LPO-0066 | £9.99
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James MacMillan The Confession of Isobel Gowdie Thomas Adès Chamber Symphony Jennifer Higdon Percussion Concerto Marin Alsop conductor Colin Currie percussion
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julian anderson (born 1967)
World premiere recording
01 02 03 04 05
Fantasia I Fantasia II Fantasia III Fantasia IV Fantasia V
3:19 5:01 6:31 2:14 7:23
06 13:54 The Crazed Moon 20:50 The Discovery of Heaven World premiere performance and recording 07 08 09
6:31 7:15 7:04
Part 1: An Echo from Heaven Part 2: In the Street – Part 3: Hymns
vladimir jurowski conductor (Fantasias; The Crazed Moon) ryan wigglesworth conductor (The Discovery of Heaven) london philharmonic ORCHESTRA Pieter Schoeman leader
Recorded live at Southbank Centre’s ROYAL FESTIVAL HALL, London LPO – 0074