Don't fence musicians in

Posters on the railing of Market Square in Cambridge show what a rich musical life the city has. The Cambridge University Symphony Orchestra's website says:
Our concert programmes are drawn up by the conductors and committee in consultation with the whole orchestra, with the players themselves able to vote on parts of the programme. The final ballot has now been concluded and the 2009-10 season will be as follows...
York Bowen's Viola Concerto and Gustav Mahler's Fourth Symphony, which is being played by the Orchestra in London on March 5. If that's what democratic programme planning achieves more orchestras should try it. More on York Bowen here.

Photo taken in the glorious spring sunshine today and (c) On An Overgrown Path. Report broken links, missing images and errors to - overgrownpath at hotmail dot co dot uk


Unknown said…

What about Music from 4 Fences?
Premiered at the Sydney Opera House in June 2009, "Music from 4 Fences" features Kronos performing on four specially-built fences to create an eclectic aural environment, accompanied by a visual design by Willie Williams, U2s long time tour designer and director.

About "Music from 4 Fences," composer Jon Rose writes, "when I started to play concerts on fences in 1983, I saw fences purely in terms of sonic material. However, the metaphorical significance of fence music soon became evident. To find music in such inherently ugly and unlikely artifacts can be a powerful experience. Fence music often encapsulates the vastness of border country; it is the music of distance. The fence also challenges our perceptions of what a musical instrument can be."

Kronos' founder and artistic director David Harrington adds, "the variety of sounds and range of musical color that a bass bow can get out of a barbed wire fence, combined with the intensity and expressiveness of those sounds made me determined that Kronos needed to learn to play this instrument, and that we had to bring it into our concerts. The idea that musicians can turn objects of confinement, detainment and violence into musical instruments has inspired me since I first heard Jon's work. Through our concerts, Kronos attempts to make statements about our world, and that we are surrounded by fences seems to be an essential part of the time we live in. There might be a way to transform the nature of fences, by bowing them. We will try."
Philip Amos said…
It does my heart good to think that people will be listening to York Bowen, and the Viola Concerto is a splendid work. So far as I know there are only two recordings of it available, on Hyperion and Centaur, and the second of these, with the American soloist Doris Lederer, leaves a listener in no doubt as to how fine it is. Good for Cambridge.
Halldor said…
Great stuff from the young Cantabs there - though I have a vision of the CUSO low brass section glumly nursing pints and muttering "democracy doesn't work" as they contemplate a term without any serious action.
JMW said…
There are currently three recordings of Bowen's Viola Concerto, Helen Callus' recording being the only one unmentioned as yet. We're fortunate to have the luxury of such distinguished choice in this repertoire.

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