James MacMillan's Viola Concerto live

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Rach3
Posts: 1933
Joined: Tue Apr 03, 2018 9:17 am

James MacMillan's Viola Concerto live

Post by Rach3 » Sat May 02, 2020 1:48 pm

James MacMillan’s Viola Concerto, Lawrence Powers, violist, Netherlands Radio Phil. under Lahav Shani,Dec.2,2016 in Utrecht:

https://www.nporadio4.nl/concerten/6367 ... bundigheid

This may be the first work of the composer I’ve heard ; if not, other works of his heard earlier did not make a lasting impression. I did enjoy most of this Concerto, would hear it again, perhaps purchase a recording.

Per Wiki: “ The Viola Concerto is a composition for viola and orchestra by the Scottish composer James MacMillan. The work was jointly commissioned by the London Philharmonic Orchestra, the Lucerne Symphony Orchestra, the Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra, and the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra. Its world premiere was given by the violist Lawrence Power and the London Philharmonic Orchestra under the direction of Vladimir Jurowski in the Royal Festival Hall, London, on 15 January 2014. The piece is dedicated to Lawrence Power...The viola concerto has been highly praised by music critics. Reviewing the world premiere, Fiona Maddocks of The Observer described the piece as an "inventive, three-movement piece" and said it "exploits fully the lyrical qualities of the instrument, launching with a rhapsodic solo ascent and finding bold colours via some hushed string harmonics, dissonances and glissandi. Bright sounds of harp, xylophone, vibraphone and tubular bells offset some more mellow string sounds, including those from the soloist's 400-year-old instrument." He continued, "The work, a major contribution to the repertory, is full of musical debate, not least between the solo viola and the four front-desk players of the viola and cello section, but has little in the way of show-off virtuosity for its own sake. In an unexpected gesture, the soloist finishes fractionally ahead of everyone else after some spectacular, rapid string crossing, leaving his comrades to play two final chords. Counter to its ponderous image, the viola triumphantly proves its fleet-footed ability to gallop home first." Ivan Hewett of The Daily Telegraph called it "a hugely ambitious piece, which summoned starkly opposed worlds of feeling, and forced them into anguished confrontations." David Nice of The Arts Desk also lauded the concerto, saying "the more introspective passages proved haunting in a very MacMillanesque way." The London Evening Standard wrote, "In several respects, MacMillan's concerto refuses to conform to expectations. Muted, brooding timbres make for a surprising opening but suit the viola very well, and a frequently recurring quartet of two violas and two cellos enhances the atmosphere. Similarly resourceful scoring occurs in the finale, where a solo flute invokes the sound world of the Japanese shakuhachi. Also unconventional is the explosive opening of what is otherwise a lyrical slow movement and the viola’s disappearing act at its close."

Rach3
Posts: 1933
Joined: Tue Apr 03, 2018 9:17 am

Re: James MacMillan's Viola Concerto live

Post by Rach3 » Sun May 03, 2020 8:58 am

After second hearing today, enjoyed it all, and even more , definitely a major work to acquire. I believe the first recording will be Powers with Martyn Brabbins/BBC Phil , a Hyperion cd to be released May 29,2020.The cd will also have the composer's 4th Symphony, a work with which I am not familiar.

Rach3
Posts: 1933
Joined: Tue Apr 03, 2018 9:17 am

Re: James MacMillan's Viola Concerto live

Post by Rach3 » Sun May 03, 2020 9:02 am


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