Category: Watch Again

Elgar Miniatures for Cello and Strings

Recorded live at Worcester Guildhall as part of the 2021 Elgar Festival, cellist Raphael Wallfisch joins Kenneth Woods and the ESO as they perform arrangements of Elgar Miniatures by Donald Fraser.

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Composer Portrait: The Music of Walter Arlen

Walter Arlen was born in Vienna in 1920. His family was dispossessed by the Nazi takeover in March 1938. While in war-effort jobs in Chicago, he studied with composer Leo Sowerby. In 1947, he became the assistant to composer Roy Harris and his wife, pianist Johanna Harris, as they accepted four year-long composer-in-residence positions at four universities, working with most US composers, conductors, and soloists. He was invited to join the Los Angeles Times as a music critic in 1952. In 1969, he founded the music department at Loyola Marymount University, and served as its chairperson and professor while continuing to write reviews until 1980. His compositions began to be performed and recorded in 2008.

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Fiddles, Forests and Fowl Fables – The Motion Picture

A new musical setting of Hans Christian Andersen’s masterpiece by Kenneth Woods is narrated by Hugh Bonneville, star of Downton Abbey, the Paddington films and W1A. Beautiful and evocative illustrations by Polish-American artist and musician, Wanda Sobieska, brings an additional level of emotion to this poignant melding of music, word and image.

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Tchaikovsky String Quartet

Tchaikovsky was a composer with a pragmatic outlook to arrangements . Tchaikovsky composed relatively little chamber music, but his First String Quartet yielded a huge hit, the Andante Cantabile, based on a folk song Tchaikovsky had heard while visiting his sister. Tchaikovsky quickly saw the commercial potential of this movement as a stand-alone item when Leo Tolstoy burst into tears at the work’s première: “Probably never in my life have I been so moved by the pride of authorship as when Lev Tolstoy, sitting by me and listening to the Andante of my Quartet, burst into tears.”

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