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The Comedy of Change

 15 November 2015 at 7.30pm 

The Comedy of Change

CBSO Centre, Birmingham
Berkley Street, Birmingham
United Kingdom


This ballet-tinged programme frames the world premiere of Melinda Maxwell’s Sound Investment commission, FRACTURES: Monk Unpacked, which uses Thelonious Monk’s Round Midnight as its ‘creative lever’.

Composed both for the concert hall, and for choreographer Mark Baldwin, who staged it as a ballet with Rambert Dance Company, Julian Anderson’s The Comedy of Change takes inspiration from the notions of change in nature. Through seven greatly contrasting movements, Anderson’s vibrant music continually evolves, with its many time cycles, melodies and rhythms mirroring nature’s continual march.

Premiered in 2014, Schuller’s Games for wind quintet and strings has the composer’s characteristic clear textures, snappy rhythms, overlapping phrases and spiky dissonances – with several name-that-tune quotations from familiar repertoire offering moments of light-hearted fun.

Providing a tumultuous climax, Stravinsky’s magnificent one-act chamber opera-ballet Renard, sees BCMG joined by four exceptional singers from RSVP Voices for a concert performance of this farmyard fairy tale with a bloody end.

The programme for this concert has changed slightly, with Carl Nielsen/Hans Abrahamsen’s Three Piano Pieces Op. 59 recomposed for 10 instruments replaced by Abrahamsen’s arrangement of Schoenberg’s Six Little Piano Pieces, and Gunther Schuller’s Games, the latter included as a tribute to the composer who died in June.

Gunter Schuller : Games
Arnold Schoenberg : Vier Stücke – aus 6. Kleine Klavierstücke op. 19
Hans Abrahamsen : Liebeslied
Julian Anderson : The Comedy of Change
Patrick Brennan : Polly Roe
Melinda Maxwell : FRACTURES: Monk Unpacked
Igor Stravinsky : Renard

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