BBC Philharmonic Orchestra
The BBC Philharmonic, based in Manchester, is one of the most important orchestras in the United Kingdom, distinguishing itself through sheer visibility and through a solid commitment to contemporary British music that has included the establishment of a composer/conductor position. The orchestra's history is rather checkered, for it has had to endure numerous crises. In 1922, prior to the official establishment of the British Broadcasting Corporation, Manchester had a radio station known as 2YZ, housed on the premises of the Metropolitan Vickers Electrical Company. Early on, a small orchestra was established for broadcasts concentrating mainly on light music, but expanding on occasion for performances of symphonic repertoire and opera. The station gained a reputation for broadcasting British music, including first radio performances of music by Edward Elgar, Gustav Holst, and William Walton. When the BBC was established, in 1927, the 2YZ orchestra was renamed the Northern Wireless Orchestra; later it became the BBC Northern Orchestra. Its existence was always precarious, but the group's size and repertoire increased. During World War II, the orchestra gave concerts in various communities around the region, bringing it a wider public. The Northern Orchestra continued to gain a strong reputation for performing and broadcasting British music, particularly works by living composers who were often invited to conduct the orchestra themselves. In 1961, the BBC Northern Orchestra made its first appearance at the Henry Wood Promenade Concerts under the direction of George Hurst. The regional identity of the ensemble began from that point to evolve into a national and international one. After a difficult strike in 1980, the BBC made the commitment to support a full orchestra in Manchester, and, in 1982, the ensemble was given its current name. Its principal conductor at that time was Edward Downes, who was succeeded in 1991 by Yan Pascal Tortelier. In 2002 Gianandrea Noseda was named principal conductor. The ensemble's reputation for adventurous programming has expanded to an international scope as well, as composers from various countries have come to Manchester to conduct the orchestra. In 1991, the post of composer/conductor was created, with Peter Maxwell Davies being the first appointment. Davies composed a number of works for the orchestra, including several symphonies culminating with Symphony No. 7, premiered in 2000. Along the way, he has also recorded a number of his orchestral works for CD release. Scottish composer James MacMillan was named his successor in 2001. The people of Manchester and the north of England are rightly proud of their radio orchestra. With so much British culture and finance administered in London, there is an independent spirit driving the culture of the north. The BBC Philharmonic has not only survived, but has thrived. It has developed a character distinct from that of the larger BBC Symphony Orchestra, based in London, more populist, perhaps, but also more adventurous and, with the orchestra's large recording catalog, generous outreach programs, and international tours, more entrepreneurial.
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Klassiek - Verschenen op 8 februari 2019 | NMC Recordings
Bernard Rands was born in Sheffield and came to prominence during the 1960s as one of the major British composers of his generation; his work championed by the likes of Boulez and Berio. In the 1970s, Rands took up a Professorship at the University of California and then at Harvard University, and has lived in the United States ever since. In America his music developed through a series of high-profile commissions and a seven-year residency with the Philadelphia Orchestra, working with Riccardo Muti, and he has written for all the major orchestras in the USA and across the world. In 2014, for his 80th birthday, the BBC Philharmonic, and Royal Northern College of Music produced a series of concerts celebrating Rands' music. This series culminated in a portrait concert at the BBC Philharmonic’s studio in Salford, which is where the recordings on this new album come from, released to celebrate his 85th. The earliest piece on this album is the Cello Concerto (1996), composed for Mstislav Rostropovitch. The work's first and third movements are woven with the traditional Welsh folk song Hiraeth. Rands studied in Wales, in Bangor, and learned to speak the Welsh language; the word ‘hiraeth’ connotes ‘nostalgia’ or ‘deep longing for the homeland’. A Welsh theme continues in Chains Like the Sea (2008), with two movements that take lines from the poem Fern Hill by Dylan Thomas, one of Rands’ great heroes. For the third and most recent pieces on this release, we move to warmer climes. Danza Petrificada is a virtuosic showpiece commemorating the centenary of the Mexican revolution. The work is coloured by rattling tambourines, suggesting the ubiquitous percussion of Mexico and the ever present cicadas of the Mexican night. © NMC Recordings
Klassiek - Verschenen op 27 mei 2016 | Chandos
Klassiek - Verschenen op 2 juni 2017 | Chandos
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