Tag: Kenneth Woods

April Fredrick at Great Malvern Priory

Tonight’s programme features April Fredrick, who is the ESO’s first Affiliate Artist, to perform Dvořák’s Song to the Moon from Rusalka, arranged by Tony Burke.

The Adagio part of Mozart’s Adagio and Fugue in C minor K.546 was a late addition to an earlier work, his Fugue in C minor K.426, written for two pianos in 1783. He later revisited the work in 1788 whilst writing his final three symphonies and transcribed the fugue for strings. It’s not clear why he did this but one theory is he wanted to refresh his old counterpoint studies before starting work on the counterpoint section that concludes his final symphony, ‘Jupiter’.

The first performance of Tony Burke’s arrangement of Strauss’ Morgen! was filmed and recorded in 2020 at Wyastone Concert Hall near Monmouth. It was the first time since lockdown that the ESO had gathered together for a series of innovative recording projects that would later become ESO Digital.

Mozart’s final three symphonies: numbers 39, 40 and 41, are a trilogy of works that stand apart from his own symphonic output and are a regular occurrence in many a concert hall and orchestra’s repertoire. It might be slightly less familiar than the two that followed, however “taken in its entirety, the symphony [no.39] is refreshing to the ear, its pleasure is only intensified by the fact that it is not much performed. Here is a work of inspiration that, due to its rarity, can still surprise and delight” Elizabeth Schwarm Glesner.

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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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The music of Saxton & Sawyers

Philip Sawyers, the ESO’s Composer Laureate, was the first composer to feature in the orchestra’s acclaimed 21st Century Symphony Project. Written in 2020, Remembrance for Strings is a touching meditation on loss, based on themes from Sawyers’ tone poem based on the paintings of Samuel Palmer, The Valley of Vision.

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