Harrison Birtwistle is one of the major musical figures internationally and this concert sees BCMG and Oliver Knussen showcase works from across his career in his 80th birthday year – the fourth such concert of 2014 following performances in Birmingham, London, and at the BBC Proms.
Silbury Air (1977, revised 2003), a Birtwistle classic, brings to the fore the composer’s continuing fascination in the medieval and the mythic, taking its inspiration from the prehistoric mound of Silbury Hill in Wiltshire. Carmen Arcadiae Mechanicae Perpetuum (The Perpetual Song of Mechanical Arcady – 1977) is much more clockwork and pulse dominated then the melody focused Silbury Air. The main inspiration for the piece coming from artist Paul Klee, whose influence on Birtwistle has been paramount. Fantasia on all the notes (2012), employs two groups of instruments, winds and strings, which are linked and fused by means of a third force, a harp.
Completing the programme will be: the UK premiere of Goehr’s chamber symphony … between the Lines, which was premiered in May 2014 in Berlin; a repeat performance of Richard Causton’s Chamber Symphony, a piece dominated by bristling brass, winds, and percussion; and a new work by student composer Patrick Brennan.
Secret Theatres: the Music of Harrison Birtwistle brings some of the world’s finest performers to Cambridge for a celebration of one of Britain’s leading composers in his 80th year.
Harrison Birtwistle: Carmen Arcadiae Mechanicae Perpetuum
Harrison Birtwistle: Fantasia on all the notes
Alexander Goehr: … between the Lines (UK premiere)
Patrick Brennan: Polly Roe (world premiere)
Richard Causton: Chamber Symphony (BCMG Sound Investment commission 2009)
Harrison Birtwistle: Silbury Air
Tickets: £24 / £18 / £12 / Students £5
Box Office: 01223 300085
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Information No.01223 331212
There is a ramp at the South Porch of the Chapel, and the grounds have level paths of flagstones or shingle. If you need any help please ask a member of staff.