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Rodney Trudgeon's Concert Notes is a collection of essays on famous classical, orchestral compositions. The pieces in this collection have appeared in concert programmes that have accompanied performances by the Cape Town and Johannesburg Philharmonic Orchestras.
Rodney Trudgeon is a well-known radio host and presenter on Fine Music Radio. He is an expert on the range of musical genres that broadly fall under the category "classical music". The text that comprises Rodney Trudgeon's Concert Notes is structured alphabetically according to composer and gives a broad overview of the development of classical music, starting with the Baroque period and ending with modern, atonal music. Each piece is dedicated to a particular musical composition, describing its highlights, its history, and what makes it unique.
Broadly, the pieces are grouped together according to the following three broad categories: ouvertures, concertos, and symphonies, mimicking the structure of concert programmes. Each entry also includes a short biography of its composer. Trudgeon's style is easy to read and accessible to all readers: from those who listen to classical music regularly to those who are unfamiliar with it. Overall, this collection is a useful and informative musical guide, making a case for listening to orchestral music.
Mozart's music has enthralled listeners for centuries. In this brilliant biography, acclaimed historian Paul Johnson draws upon his expert knowledge of the era and Mozart's own private letters to conjure Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's life and times in rich detail.
Johnson charts Mozart's life from age three through to his later years - when he penned "The Marriage of Figaro and Don Giovanni." Along the way, Johnson challenges some of the popular myths that cloud Mozart's image: his allegedly tempestuous personal relationships and supposedly bitter rivalry with Salieri, as well as the notion that he was desperately impoverished when he died.
The result - a bold, invigorating portrait of one of the most popular and influential composers of all time - is a welcome addition to Johnson's extraordinary body of work and makes a perfect gift for classical music lovers and fans of biographies.
for SATTBB & SA or SATB unaccompanied We are is a dynamic and vibrant setting of 'The human family', a powerful poem by American poet Maya Angelou. The poet's message that 'we are more alike than we are unalike' is carried through the piece by a compelling rhythmic figure, and the a cappella textures and interplay between voices creates an infectious energy. The rich texture of the double choir scoring allows the two groups of singers to work together to create the sense of unity and common purpose the poem speaks to. We are was commissioned by The King's Singers for their 50th anniversary celebrations and features on their album 'GOLD' (Signum, SIGCD500). The piece was originally presented with the first choir scoring as AATBarBarB, but has since been rescored for SATTBB, with the option for the second choir to be SA or SATB remaining unchanged.
for SATB and organ Archer's setting of this well-known Christmas text is lilting and buoyant, with a memorable melody and charming organ interludes. Suitable for liturgical or concert use, the carol features great textual variety, building to a rousing finish that is sure to fill audiences with Christmas cheer!
for SAATB unaccompanied A piece made famous by the award-winning a cappella group Vocado, Coffee Time is an upbeat dedication to the down time we all crave, for sharing thoughts, silence, and that aroma! Founded on classic a cappella style and sense of fun, the piece boasts an infectious melody and bossa nova rhythm, with sumptuous key changes, scat rhythms, and contrasting sections. The piece is perfect for vocal groups or small- to medium-size choirs, and has the makings of a great encore or competition piece.
This gorgeously designed retelling of The Nutcracker will make the perfect Christmas present for ballet fans everywhere! In snow white covered St. Petersburg, young dancer Stana's dreams have finally come true - she has been chosen to play the lead role in Tchaikovsky's new ballet, The Nutcracker. But with all eyes looking at her, can Stana overcome her nerves and dance like she's never danced before? From the author of the bestselling The Sinclair Mysteries, Katherine Woodfine, and Waterstone's Book Prize winner, Lizzy Stewart, this sumptuous and magical retelling of The Nutcracker will transport you on a journey fay beyond the page. Praise for Katherine Woodfine's The Sinclair's Mysteries series: 'A wonderful book, with a glorious heroine and a true spirit of adventure' Katherine Rundell, award-winning author of Rooftoppers 'Dastardliness on a big scale is uncovered in this well-plotted, evocative novel' The Sunday Times 'It's a dashing plot, an atmospheric setting and an extensive and imaginative cast. Katherine Woodfine handles it all with aplomb' The Guardian Praise for Lizzy Stewart's There's a Tiger in the Garden (Winner of the Waterstones Children's Book Prize 2017, Illustrated Books Category): 'A journey of discovery' The Guardian 'A stunning testament to the power of imagination' Metro
Elegy, with its warmly expressive tenor-range melodies, is highly suitable for use at funerals, while the cascading joy of Festive Bells makes it perfect as a wedding recessional. The finely wrought sonorities will sound to maximum effect on a large organ in a spacious acoustic, but will nonetheless be convincing on even the most modest of instruments. Both pieces have that warm sense of Englishness that makes them very accessible to the first-time listener.
for SATB double choir, children's choir, and piano Setting a text by Charles Bennett, The White Field presents a dreamlike scene in which blackbirds plant songs in the cold earth and await the growth of their music. Chilcott's melodies echo through the voices, before a climactic tutti central section giving full voice to the idea of renewal and hope in the depth of winter. A wistful coda completes the reverie as the blackbirds settle to await the return of the sun. The piano part provides harmonic support and rhythmic energy to the voice parts with chordal and semiquaver figurations throughout the work. The White Field was commissioned by the Barbican Centre for London Symphony Chorus and BBC Symphony Chorus for Sound Unbound, November 2015.
for SATB, piano, and optional saxophone, bass, and drum kit Ophelia, Caliban, and Miranda puts a jazzy twist on three Shakespearean characters. With newly written texts by Charles Bennett, each of the three movements focuses in on Ophelia from Hamlet and Caliban and Miranda from The Tempest. In the funky opener, 'River Bride', the upper voices take the part of Ophelia, while the tenors and basses play a lover figure. Caliban's song, 'Ariel taught me how to play', is a reflective ballad in which the slave tells Miranda, who has escaped his advances, about the spirit helper Ariel teaching him to play the saxophone. The final movement, 'All good things come to an end', is a sassy yet tender number, where Miranda bids farewell to her beloved husband Ferdinand, declaring: 'I've gone back to the island to remember who I am'. The piano part may be played as written or serve as a guide, and a part for saxophone, bass, and drum kit is available separately for jazz quartet accompaniment.
for soloists, SATB, and organ Written for the Choir of Wells Cathedral, of which Matthew Owens is Organist and Master of the Choristers, this setting of the St Matthew Passion is ideally suited to liturgical performance during Holy Week. The principal role of the Evangelist is taken by a baritone soloist, who narrates the story of Christ's trial and Crucifixion in unaccompanied chant. The other, smaller, solo roles of Judas (tenor), Pilate (tenor), Jesus (bass), and Pilate's wife (alto) continue in the same vein, with four-part choral interspersions from the crowds, soldiers, and priests providing a contrast in texture. The hymn 'When I survey the wondrous cross', set to the Rockingham hymn tune, appears twice throughout the work, and the congregation are encouraged to join in on both occasions. The simple organ part supports the voices for the hymn, and may also optionally double the choir during the narrative.
for SSAATTBB unaccompanied Ave gloriosa mater salvatoris is a challenging and yet delicate anthem, with subtle key-signature changes, vocal divisions in up to eight parts, and alternating homophonic and polyphonic passages. The text includes excerpts from the synonymous medieval hymn and Wordsworth's poem The Virgin, making the piece suitable for a variety of sacred celebrations and particularly those of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
for violin and mixed choir This innovative and imaginative choral arrangement of The Lark Ascending has the original solo violin part accompanied by mixed choir. It sensitively sets George Meredith's poem (on which the original orchestration is based) and combines this with wordless vocal lines and vocal solos, preserving the texture and timeless effect of the original. Commissioned and premiered by the Swedish Chamber Choir, the work has also been recorded by the choir under the direction of Simon Phipps.
for SAT and piano or organ Originally published in the collection Alan Bullard Anthems, this optimistic setting of Jan Struther's famous text is perfectly suited to performance at a variety of occasions, including at weddings, funerals, and services throughout the year. Bullard's original melody is expressive and graceful, paying homage to the message of the words, and the supportive and melodious accompaniment may be performed on piano or organ.
Commissioned for the 40th birthday of the organist Paul Walton, Walton's Paean is a work of great verve, with compelling rhythms, exciting harmonies, and catchy melodies propelling the celebratory music forward. Through the boisterous excitement, legato passages emerge as the piece hurtles towards the resounding finale. There is also a little joke in the occasional references to the music of Paul Walton's namesake, William.
This engaging work was composed in 1929 and premiered the following year by its dedicatee, the legendary Spanish cellist Pablo Casals. The five folk songs on which the work is founded are 'Salisbury Plain', 'The Long Whip', 'Low down in the broom', 'Bristol Town', and 'I've been to France'. This arrangement for solo viola and orchestra is compatible with the original orchestral accompaniment, materials for which are available on hire.
In "Beethoven", Edmund Morris, the author of three bestselling presidential biographies and a lifelong devotee of the great composer, brings him to life as a man of astonishing complexity and overpowering intelligence. A gigantic, compulsively creative personality unable to tolerate constraints, he was not so much a social rebel as an astute manipulator of the most powerful and privileged aristocrats in Germany and Austria, at a time when their world was threatened by the rise of Napoleon Bonaparte. But Beethoven's achievement rests in his immortal music. Struggling against progressive, incurable deafness (which he desperately tried to keep secret), he nonetheless produced towering masterpieces, such as his iconic Fifth and Ninth symphonies. With sensitivity and insight, Edmund Morris illuminates Beethoven's life, including his interactions with the women he privately lusted for but held at bay, and his work, whose grandeur and beauty were conceived 'on the other side of silence.'
for SAATBB unaccompanied This touching piece sets Yeats' beautiful words describing the love of a parent for their child. Switching between major and minor tonalities, A Cradle Song is quiet and understated, with sensitive a cappella scoring that makes the sentiments seem all the more real. This is an impressive and sophisticated debut from Swedish singer and composer Joel Nilson.
for SSA unaccompanied Songbird sets an evocative text by the composer describing songbirds that spin tunes of gold. The catchy, colourful melody is first presented by tutti voices, and is then woven through the vocal parts, often to scat accompaniment.
Alex Ross's sweeping history of twentieth-century classical music, winner of the Guardian First Book Award, is a gripping account of a musical revolution. The landscape of twentieth-century classical music is a wild one: this was a period in which music fragmented into apparently divergent strands, each influenced by its own composers, performers and musical innovations. In this comprehensive tour, Alex Ross, music critic for the 'New Yorker', explores the people and places that shaped musical development: Adams to Zweig, Brahms to Bjoerk, pre-First World War Vienna to 'Nixon in China'. Above all, this unique portrait of an exceptional era weaves together art, politics and cultural history to show how twentieth-century classical music was both a symptom and a source of immense social change. This edition includes a definitive list of the greatest recordings of twentieth-century music.
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