Friday, 23 October 2009

Standing Ovation in Douai Abbey

The world premiere of Song of Songs in Douai Abbey was a huge success. The Cecilia Consort sang with real professionalism and it was wonderful for me to work once again with Patrick Craig and Tim Bennett, both of whom sang on the original recording of Blue in Blue. To hear my great friend Jan Coxwell sing the soprano solo in Song of Songs, though, was the highlight of the evening. She effortlessly managed the top C's and D's and gave real passion to her interpretation of my brother's words. The standing ovation and electric atmosphere made this an occasion I will never forget. I sincerely thank the audience for their warm response as well as all those who performed and were involved with the event's organisation.

Here I am pictured with Jan rehearsing Song of Songs. Many thanks to Harry Cruickshank for the photo.

Thursday, 15 October 2009

Concert in Douai Abbey

This coming Saturday I am conducting a concert of my music in Douai Abbey. This will be a special occasion for me for all sorts of reasons. My first teaching post was at Pangbourne College which is very near Douai. I coached a rugby team which played Douai School, and I used to visit the abbey many times for concerts and services. Just before I left Pangbourne, I played a Handel Organ Concerto on the newly restored (beautiful!) organ with a local orchestra. Being back there this coming weekend will evoke many happy memories.

I am also thrilled to be working with the Cecilia Consort. This excellent choir was formed by my dear friend Janet Coxwell and I have been involved in various projects with them over the years. Jan premiered my song cycle The Call with The English Chamber Orchestra in Lincoln Cathedral in June 1999, and it is Jan who appeared as soprano soloist on my debut album Blue in Blue. It will be a joy to hear her sing the Blue in Blue pieces and also Song of Songs. I am going to accompany her in three songs from The Call as well. Roger Sayer is playing the organ and my great friend Hugh Webb will be playing harp. I hope to see you there!

Friday, 9 October 2009

David Dane Exhibition

As well as being a wonderful artist, David Dane is a neighbour and trusted friend. His paintings are quite magical and really do capture the spirit of the Norfolk Broads. I am delighted to be associated once again with his bi-annual exhibition at the Broads Wildlife Centre in Ranworth. The exhibition opens on 7th November and runs through to the 22nd November. On the three Sundays, I will be at the Wildlife Centre from 2.00 pm to talk about my music and perform some of my pieces on the piano. I will feature the Three Broadland Preludes which appear on my brand new album Fair Albion:Visions of England and also play pieces from Towards the Light. Signed copies of all of my albums will be on sale. Hope to see you there!

Thursday, 8 October 2009

Interview with Aled

On September 6th I was Aled Jones’s guest on his Radio 2 'Good Morning Sunday' programme. It was great fun and a real pleasure to meet Aled. I spoke about my album 'Song of Songs' and they have been playing tracks from the album on the show over the last couple of weeks. I also provided the 'moment of reflection'.