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Words and music: an evening in three parts

 27 April 2014 at 6.30pm 

Words and music: an evening in three parts

CBSO Centre
Berkley Street. B1 2LF
United Kingdom

Conductor: Martyn Brabbins
Viola: Christopher Yates *
Director: David Sawer ~
Actors: William Oxborrow & Thomas Howes ~
Sound by Design ~

Howard Skemptonís Only the Sound Remains for viola and ensemble takes its title from the first line of The Mill-Water, a poem on the sad loss of rural industry by Edward Thomas. The sense of nostalgia and elegy that pervades Thomasí poem is beautifully encapsulated in Skemptonís 35-minute piece. Led by the viola, the ensemble seems to paint a series of long-forgotten landscapes, affirming Skemptonís precious ability to find beauty and expressive power in the simplest musical objects.

BCMG/SaM Apprentice Composer-in-Residence Shiori Usui has been described as a composer with Ďindividual earsí (The Times) and her music has already been performed in Japan, Europe and the US by a diverse range of soloists, ensembles and orchestras. Her new piece takes inspiration from the BBCís Blue Planet series (originally titled ĎDeepí) and promises to transport both players and audience to the bottom of the ocean.

Skemptonís friendship with Morton Feldman was perhaps his most important single influence. Samuel Beckett/Morton Feldmanís Words and Music deliberates on the comparative power of these two modes of expression. Here presented in a strikingly unusual way, this 40-minute piece, initially written for radio, sees Joe (Words) and Bob (Music), struggle to formulate expressions on themes including love and age under the command of the mysterious Croak. At the heart of the piece is an intensely moving section in which Bob tries to teach Joe how to sing.

Howard Skempton : Only the Sound Remains
Shiori Usui : Deep
Morton Feldman : Words and Music

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