English Symphony Orchestra, Interviews, Music, NCCR

“Cooler Classics” Monday 11th February 2019 (Rpt Sunday 17th February 2019 7-8am.)

This week’s “Cooler Classics ”  concludes the “Entartete Music” (or “Degenerate Music, according to the Nazis) that came out of the Holocaust. Kenneth Woods, principal conductor with the English Symphony Orchestra, continues with his selection and observations..and includes music by Hans Gal, Ernst Krenek and Erich Wolfgang Korngold.

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Hans Gal, Ernst Krenek,Erich Wolfgang Korngold & Kenneth Woods.

(Copyrights acknowledged)

Monday 11pm – Midnight.     www.nccr.co.uk

Cooler Classics, Music, NCCR

Cooler Classics Monday 4th February 2019

Tonight, the first of two programmes on Holocaust related Music..or Entartete (or “Degenerate”) Music” as it was termed (by the Nazis..)

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Kenneth Woods moderates and explains the reasons and thinking behind his special selection, including pieces by Viktor Ullmann, Hans Krasa, Gideon Klein, and Hans Gal…

         

Viktor Ullmann,Hans Krasa,Gideon Klein and Hans Gál.(Copyrights acknowledged)

 

New Releases from Nimbus Records.

Richard Blackford: Seven Hokusai Miniatures, Five Naidu Songs & Dragon SongsJohannes Brahms: Cello SonatasPomegranate

 The Art of Singing: A Tribute to David Björling Vol.3 Smetana, Dvorak & Janacek: Works for String Quartet Sir Malcolm Sargent conducts Berlioz The Damnation of Faust

http://www.wyastone.co.uk/new_releases/

 

 

Cooler Classics, English Symphony Orchestra, Events and Shows, In The Cooler, Music

English Symphony Orchestra Bring Music of Wagner’s Epic Ring Cycle to the Swan Theatre,Worcester.(ESO)

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Matthew Sharp, Stacey Rishoi, Brennen Guillory & Kenneth Woods.(Copyrights acknowledged)

Worcestershire audiences will have a rare chance to hear some of the grandest music ever written, sung by some of the most powerful singers in the world, on the 16th of February, when the English Symphony Orchestra, hailed as the International Orchestra of Elgar Country, perform Act One of Richard Wagner’s opera The Valkyrie (Die Walküre) in Worcester’s Swan Theatre under the baton of Kenneth Woods.

Considered by many to be the most perfect act in all of opera, Act One of The Valkyrie opens the second part of Wagner’s epic Ring Cycle, and tells the story of the arrival of a mysterious stranger in a house haunted by tragedy and violence. “It has everything in it – redemption, love, hope, fear, loss, reunion and conflict,” says Kenneth Woods, the ESO’s Artistic Director since 2015.

Wagner was a composer known for composing epic works requiring enormous musical and technical resources, and his complete Ring Cycle, originally intended to be played over four nights, contains well over sixteen hours of music, and were written for an orchestra of over 100 musicians. In its complete form, The Valkyrie is an opera of nearly four hours duration which forms Part Two of the Ring Cycle.

“There is an inherent contradiction in Wagner’s music between the enormity of its scale and the intimacy of its content,” says Woods. “Act One of The Valkyrie, which is often done by itself, has only three characters, and it all takes place in one room of a house. We thought it would be very powerful to emphasise the intensely personal quality of this drama by bringing it into a smaller theatre where the audience can get much closer to the singers. In most opera theatres, there is a huge orchestra pit between the characters and the audience. Here, the connection is as close as we can make it, with the singers standing in front of the orchestra. Even for an avid opera-goer, this may be the closest one ever gets to sit to a great Wagnerian singer in full flight.”

The ESO have brought together an international cast for this performance. American mezzo-soprano Stacey Rishoi was winner of the 1999 Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions and the Norman Treigle Award from New York City Opera. Among her many successes are Mahler’s Symphony No. 8 with Leonard Slatkin and the National Symphony Orchestra; Mahler’s Symphony No. 2 with the Pittsburgh and Virginia symphony orchestras; Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 with Virginia and National symphony orchestras, and her engagement by Kurt Masur and the New York Philharmonic for the world premiere of Michael Torke’s Four Seasons. Ms. Rishoi sings the role of Sieglinde. “Sieglinde’s story is one of self-discovery and renewal,” says Rishoi. “The opera begins with her trapped in a loveless and abusive marriage, and by the end of Act One, the choices she’s made and the actions she’s taken have not only changed her life, they have set in motion the end of the gods themselves.”

Tenor Brennen Guillory sings Siegmund, the mysterious stranger who arrives unannounced in the midst of a terrible storm. Guillory made his UK debut with the Orchestra of the Swan singing Mahler’s Das Lied von der Erde in a performance recorded for SOMM Recordings which has drawn worldwide praise, and he has previously sung Britten’s Serenade for Tenor, Horn and Strings with the ESO in 2014. “Wagner envisioned a new kind of singer to portray the epoch-shaking heroes his music dramas depict,” notes Kenneth Woods. “He wanted his principal tenors to have a power and depth to their voice that was previously unknown in music, hence he described this ideal voice type as a “heroic tenor” (“Heldentenor”). Even 150 years later, real Heldentenors are rarer than an honest used car salesman. There have been times when even the greatest opera houses in the world couldn’t find a true Heldentenor, but Brennen is the real thing, one of only a handful in the world these days.”

Rounding out the international cast is ESO Associate Artist, Matthew Sharp, who sings the role of Sieglinde’s cruel husband, the hunter Hunding. “Hunding is not a sympathetic person at all,” says Sharp. “His relationship with his wife is depicted as being very deeply abusive and manipulative, but he sees himself as an honourable man living by a clear moral code. In the end, Hunding’s respect for the law, rather than his brutality, becomes Siegmund’s undoing.” Sharp is one of the UK’s most versatile musicians, equally acclaimed as a bass-baritone and cello soloist. His recording of music for solo cello and orchestra by Hans Gál with the ESO was a “Disc of the Week” in both The Times and the Guardian and was recently named a “Recording of the Year” by MusicWeb International.

For this concert, the ESO will be using the acclaimed version of Wagner’s score for chamber orchestra by Francis Griffin. “Wagner wrote for a huge orchestra of over a hundred musicians, where Griffith’s version uses about thirty,” explains Woods. “Of course, using smaller forces changes the sound of the orchestra, but while one loses some depth and grandeur, there is possibly more directness and intensity from the orchestra, and more of the vocal colour and nuance of the singers comes through. And the contribution of every player in the orchestra really, really counts.”

The first half of the concert sees Wagner in gentler spirits as the ESO musicians play his popular “Siegfried Idyll.” The work was written as a birthday present for his wife, and premiered in a surprise performance at sunrise in their house on her birthday. The work takes its title from the name of their newborn son, Siegfried, himself named after another character in the Ring Cycle: Siegfried, son of Siegmund and Sieglinde.

The ESO is the official orchestra of the City of Worcester and the Orchestra in Residence of The Elgar Festival, and resident orchestra of Worcester Live. This concert is generously supported by Arts Council England and the Bransford Trust.

 

 

English Symphony Orchestra, Events and Shows, Music, NCCR

English Symphony Orchestra begin 2019 with celebration of Dvořák in Malvern Theatres

Concert on 26 January to feature leading Czech violin superstar, Pavel Šporcl

After saying goodbye to 2018 with a sold-out performance of Messiah in Malvern Priory, the English Symphony Orchestra will begin 2019 with a celebration of the music of Antonin Dvořák in Malvern Theatres featuring today’s leading Czech violinist, Pavel Šporcl, in a performance of the Dvořák Violin Concerto, a work he has recorded to international acclaim with Vladimir Ashkenazy and the Czech Philharmonic. The concert also includes Dvořák’s melodious and moving Eighth Symphony and a selection of his vivacious Slavonic Dances under the baton of the ESO’s Artistic Director, Kenneth Woods.

Pavel Šporcl has appeared with major orchestras including the Orchestre National de France, Tokyo Metropolitan Symphony Orchestra, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, Russian National Symphony Orchestra, Orchestre de Paris, Czech Philharmonic Orchestra, Orchestre de la Suisse Romande, and the Hungarian Radio Orchestra, and has worked with leading conductors including Vladimir Ashkenazy, Libor Pesek, Jiri Belohlavek and Andris Nelsons.

Šporcl brings a lifetime of experience to the Dvořák Violin Concerto, a work written for Joseph Joachim and described by ESO Artistic Director Kenneth Woods as “one of the most perfect and beautiful of all Romantic violin concerti.” Gramophone Magazine said of his live recording of the Dvořák that “his tonal variety and expressiveness in the lyrical passages are …magnetic, and the lightness and rhythmic spring of his playing heighten the finale’s Slavonic dance character.”

 

Hailed as an artist with a human touch, Šporcl likes to go beyond the classical music scene and collaborates with many non-classical music artists. His projects Gipsy Way (2008) and Gipsy Fire (2014) with gipsy cimbalom band has been received with great enthusiasm in many countries including China, and was seen in almost 300 concerts by more than 120,000 people. “We’re very excited to be working with Pavel,” says Woods. “He shares with the ESO an ethos that says there ought not to be any divide between quality and accessibility in the arts. He’s passionate about making his music available to everyone, and that is why he is one of the most popular artists in Europe today.”

The second half of the concert will be given over to Dvořák’s Eighth Symphony, a work particularly close to Woods’ heart. “Dvořák 8 was the first score I bought as a young musician curious about the role of the conductor and the art of the composer,” says Woods. “It’s one of those pieces which has been with me at every step of my musical life as student and professional, cellist and conductor.”

Considered by many critics to be Dvořák’s most melodic symphony, Woods describes the Eighth as “one of those very special works in which an embrace of childlike wonder and simplicity underpins a work of deep emotions.” The concert opens with what Woods describes as a “grab bag” of Dvořák’s Slavonic Dances.

The close of 2018 saw the ESO receiving a new round of accolades for their work. Their recording of Woods’ orchestration of the Brahms Piano Quartet in A major was chosen as one of The Arts Desk’s 10 Best Classical CDs of 2018, their recording of the Hans Gàl Cello Concertino was a MusicWeb International Recording of the Year, and their CD “Songs for Strings,” which debuted as Classic FM CD of the Week in August, was chosen a Favourite CD of 2018 by Classical Candor.

The ESO’s next concert, on the 16th of February, will be a concert performance of Act I of Wagner’s Die Walküre on 16 February in Worcester’s Swan Theatre

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PAVEL ŠPORCL

CELEBRATING DVORÁK WITH PAVEL ŠPORCL IN MALVERN THEATRES

Saturday the 26th January 2019   7.45pm

Pre-concert talk at 6.45pm

Forum Theatre, Malvern Theatres, Grange Road, Malvern, WR14 3HB

English Symphony Orchestra
Kenneth Woods- Artistic Director
Pavel Šporcl – Violin

Pre-concert talk at 6:45

Programme

Dvořák – Slavonic Dances (selected)
Dvořák – Violin Concerto
Pavel Šporcl – Violin
Dvořák – Symphony No. 8

Join Kenneth Woods and the ESO for this celebration of the greatest of all Czech composers with today’s most popular and distinguished Czech violin virtuoso, Pavel Šporcl. Šporcl’s recording of his countryman’s concerto has been hailed by Gramophone as “…a warmly idiomatic reading…tonal variety and expressiveness….magnetic.”

The concert opens with a lively selection of Slavonic Dances and ends with a performance of Dvořák’s vibrant and tuneful Eighth Symphony.

TICKETS: from £17.36 (prices include 12% booking fee)

Book online via Malvern Theatres or via eso.co.uk

Phone Booking 01684 892277
In person at the Malvern Theatres box office, Grange Road, Malvern, WR14 3HB

Press enquiries and interview requests: noriko.tsuzaki@eso.co.uk

 

In The Cooler, Interviews, NCCR

“In The Cooler” Friday 28th December 2018

Listen Again to “In The Cooler”…..Kenneth Woods 5 rock track selection..Kieran O’Donnell explains the work of the Homeless Foundation..jokes from Tom Stade, broadcasting memories from Charles Nove..and sax player Tommaso Starace!

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From top left clockwise: Charles Nove,Kenneth Woods, Homie, Tommaso,Tom Stade.

Listen Again: www.northcotswoldonline.com

 

 

In The Cooler, Interviews, NCCR

“In The Cooler”-Visitor Gallery 2018.

In The Cooler, Interviews, Music, NCCR

“In The Cooler” Friday 28th December 2018… Review of the Year?? (6-9 pm)

This Friday ..a 3 hour special..which will give an opportunity to hear some interviews not fully heard, and pick out some of the outstanding ones…Here is a gallery of some of those who have been willing to step “In The Cooler” with me….

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Above (from top left clockwise): The Zombies,Mike Pender,Kenneth Woods, Tom Stade, Kim Bailey,Rebecca Tope, Helen Evans, Colin Devlin, Charles Nove.
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Benedict Allen,Ric Sanders, Paul Goodhead, ESO Wind Quartet.(Catherine Handley, Graeme Adams,Sara Temple,Rosemary Cow..with special thanks to Mary Stevens of CareHome Concerts)
Andy Stanton & PSL 101118 cea8b-psx_20180927_215222 Library 2018 926
Peter Lewis with Andy Stanton, James Anthony & Diarmaid McCulloch.
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Next line: PL with the Royal Ruler Tony Prince, Geoffrey Robertson QC and Doug Armstrong.

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Then: Robert Habermann & PL with Miloš Karadaglić , Julian Lloyd Webber.

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PL with: Dean Friedman,Sacha Taylor-Cox(HushPR)Professor Rosemary Davies CBE,& Jethro
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L-R:Neil Oliver, Chris Bonnington, Simon Yates.(Copyrights acknowledged)

Image may contain: 4 people, people standing, beard and outdoor Alex Mendham and His Orchestra at the Savoy Hotel

The Silverbeets, David Courtney,Alex Mendham & His Orchestra.(Copyrights acknowledged)

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Toyah, The Three Degrees & Jerry Hull.(Copyrights acknowledged)
Programme banner kindly designed by Jerry Hull.

And that’s not all who were generous with their time !! Special thanks to all……

Rodney Beacham(Bledington Festival) , Matthew Boyd, Clare Hammond,Simon Winterman @ Sudden Impulse Theatre, Claire & Antoinette Cann , David Jones,Mohiuddin Litu,Rina Saha, Rasel Mahmud (East India Cafe Cheltenham),  Ginny Smith(TV scientist) David Wimble( D-Lux radio), Professor Rosemary Davies CBE, Lucy Prior MBE, John Kiszely, Sacha Taylor-Cox(Hush PR), Rosemary Mason ,Gary Mullen (Freddie Mercury Tribute), Dan Snow,Glen Matlock, Robert Habermann, Rebecca Tope ,Miss Kiddy & The Cads, Jack Boskett & The Bard’s Bird(!) Sophia Dale(Cheltenham Racecourse),Sam Carter,Tom Toal, BeccaB, Neil Oliver,Caroline Ardron(The Clubhouse Bourton), Jon Keighren(RNLI), Oliver Lister (Evesham Music Club),Kim Bailey(Grand National/Gold Cup winning Trainer),Ben Holder(Thanks for Sweet Potato 319!!) & Sophie-Jayne Dyde, Drew Jarvie(The Delerium Trees), Lucy & Nicole (GW Air Ambulance), Clive @ Barton Fest, Nicholas Reardon, Milos Karadaglic, Richard Weller (Pebworth Fringe festival),Sadie & Annette (CC Vintage),Sofia Larsson, John Coghlan (Quo) David Courtney,James Spreckley, Pete Moore, Vertilizar,Primes, Megan O’Neill, Paul Goodhead,  Toyah, Mike and Reina Reinstein(Sid James daughter) ,Lee Rice, Jerry Hull, Anthony Jay, Eddy Grant,….and.. Chris Bonington, Chris Eden-Green, Julian Beale (Cotswold District Council..Cotswold Champions)Lisa Harrison, Wayne Ellington(ex – Drifter), Julian LLoyd Webber, Ric Sanders(Fairport Convention), Gil Merrick(Vienna Festival Ballet), Mike Read, Ralph Broadbent(Stringfever), Thomas Sanderling, David Le Page (OOTS) ,Jakko Jakszyk(King Crimson), Noella Coursarsis(international supermodel and ambassador for Malaika Charity), Ian Page(Secret Affair), Billy Sullivan(The Spitfires)Michael Purton(novelist), Neil Jones (Stone Foundation), Woody Woodmansey, Colin Devlin, Mark Brzezicki(Big Country),Jill Nalder & Linda Jarvis(Westenders),  Robert Ross (Carry Ons!),Simon Yates, Simon Desbruslais, “Diddy “David Hamilton, Diane Parkes (Joss Searchlight Charity) Ben Portsmouth(Elvis act),Kieran O’Donnell(Homeless Foundation), Brimstone(Mike Beeston,Keith Finlay,Clare Charlton,Sarah Edwards), Marsha O’Mahony, Scarlette Fever,Matthew Sharp, Michael Bohnert Wheatley, Dean Friedman, Lyn Shepherd (Venturian), Danny Rogers(son of Ted..”Dusty Bin 3-2-1” Rogers) The Three Degrees..(Freddie Pool, Helen Scott,Valerie Holiday) Ian Clarkson (The Jive Aces) Jethro (Cornwall’s legendary comedian!!) Tom Auton,Stuart Fleming (Fish n’Frolics!) Reginald D Hunter, Liza Pulman (as Barbra Streisand), John Hewer (with Steptoe & Son) Alex Mendham & Farnz Cordeaux(The Silverbeets)..and any whom I have forgotten..
A grand total of about 137!! ..and some with multiple appearances!!

And not forgetting our resident poet Paul Curran!  (138!!)

Thank you all for your kind participation “In The Cooler” during 2018. I hope to see you all again in 2019.

..and especial apologies to the two gentlemen who came in, and gave interviews that we all thought were being recorded..but actually weren’t..the equipment “malfunctioned”!! “In The Cooler” will be pleased to have you back …soon!!

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 John Sanderson – Principal, Chipping Campden School Academy & Charles Martell – High Sheriff of Gloucestershire (140!!)