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The Fathers are Watching

 30 September 2012 at 7.30pm 

The Fathers are Watching

CBSO Centre, Birmingham
Berkley Street, Birmingham
United Kingdom

Conductor: Oliver Knussen
Tenor: Andrew Staples
Members of CBSO Youth Chorus

This concert marks the start of BCMG’s 25th anniversary season, a landmark we will be celebrating throughout 2012/13.

A substantial new work for tenor, ensemble and girls choir - the world premiere of Alexander Goehr’s Sound Investment commission To These Dark Steps – is the main feature of the programme. To These Dark Steps sets a series of striking poems and prose commentary by Gabriel Levin, written in the shadow of Israel’s bombardment and incursion into Gaza in 2008. The texts view the depredations of war through the prism of music by Webern, Messiaen, Bartók and Ligeti - all favourite composers of Alexander Goehr. This provides the context for the other pieces in the programme.

A late work by French composer Olivier Messiaen opens the concert. This three minute, marvellously incisive tribute to the publisher Alfred Schlee has at its heart a piano solo based on the song of the Garden Warbler, one of Messiaen’s favourite birds.

Following this opening are Webern’s Six Pieces for Orchestra in his arrangement for chamber ensemble; Goehr’s recent violin duos, behind which hovers the ghost of Bartók; and György Ligeti’s 12-minute Melodien, which superimposes waves of melody in a piece rich in allusions to Ives, Mahler and Brahms.

There will be a free pre-concert talk from 6.30-7pm with Alexander Goehr and Gabriel Levin, open to all ticket holders.


Olivier Messiaen : Pièce pour piano et quatuor à cordes
Anton Webern : Six Pieces for Orchestra
Alexander Goehr : Duos (for two violins)
Gyorgy Ligeti : Melodien
Alexander Goehr : To These Dark Steps
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Posted by Christian Morris


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