Sunday 15 February 2009

Court Studies from The Tempest in Poland

If my memory serves me correctly, Richard Harrold's Ink is the 12th Britten Sinfonia commission to receive its world premiere in Krakow as part of our residency here. The snow today did not keep the audience away. It is always hard to judge a piece on a first hearing (and that is one of the advantages of our project, where each commission gives a piece five outings in a week, allowing the performers to really get to grips with it), but the passage I find most appealing is a long solo piano transition section which binds the opening with the concluding sections. Our UK audiences will have a chance to hear the work in Cambridge, London, Birmingham, and Norwich later this week.
Thomas Ades' Court Studies from The Tempest received – I imagine – its Polish premiere: what a rarefied, mysterious (as one would expect from The Tempest) work, with a spine-chilling final section of incredible beauty, fading to a solo violin niente. I’ve heard myself before saying this blog is not a travelogue, but Britten Sinfonia has such a strong link with the musical life of Krakow, a few photos taken during the transition from rehearsal to dinner last night seem appropriate.

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