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The Songbook

 27 February 2015 at 7.30pm 

The Songbook

CBSO Centre
Berkley Street. B1 2LF
United Kingdom

Conductor: Jonathan Berman
Sopranos: Gillian Keith
Rebecca von Lipinski


This special Songbook programme is a rare opportunity to hear a hand-picked selection of 17 songs for soprano and small ensemble, commissioned over a ten year period from the late 1980s by composer/BCMG Artist-in-Association John Woolrich and soprano Mary Wiegold. In addition we celebrate the 75th Sound Investment premiere since the commissioning scheme launched in 1992.

In total, around 200 works were commissioned for The Songbook by inviting composers to write a ‘song’ (whatever that suggested to them in terms of choice of text, duration and musical language) and not a piece of vocal chamber music.

Along with distinguished soloists Gillian Keith and Rebecca von Lipinski, BCMG presents a programme focusing on songs from the collection by European composers (plus an American and an Argentinian) in a concert that helps to establish these pieces as part of the repertoire. Complementing these will be a new ‘song’ by Gerald Barry, himself a brilliant writer for voice as anyone who heard BCMG’s European premiere performances of his acclaimed opera The Importance of Being Earnest in April 2012 will know.

Today, Woolrich and Wiegold’s Songbook compendium is a portrait of what a wide range of composers were up to at the end of the 20th century. Most British composers are represented in the collection, plus music from many other countries, and not just contemporary classical: there are songs by jazz composers (Mike Garrick, Keith Tippett) and rock composers (Joby Talbot and Elvis Costello).

Jonathan Harvey: You
Milton Babbitt: Quatrains
Gerald Barry: Crossing the Bar (world premiere / BCMG Sound Investment commission)
Thomas Adčs: Life Story
Kurt Schwertsik: Human Existence…
Der Herr weis was der Wil
singt meine schwäne
Harrison Birtwistle: White and Light
Olga Neuwirth: The Cartographer Song
Poul Ruders: Alone
Osvaldo Golijov: Sarajevo
Detlev Glanert: Contemplated by a Portrait of a Divine
Niccolo Castiglioni: Vallis Clausa
Salvatore Sciarrino: Due Risvegli e il Vento
Aldo Clementi: Wiegenlied
Franco Donatoni: An angel within my heart

Contemporary Composers : Various

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