Author Archives: Kenneth Woods

Only the Crappiest Thrive

Longstanding Vftp readers will have noticed a couple of relatively major shifts of emphasis here at the blog in recent years. As my administrative responsibilities have increased (much to my dismay), my time and mental space for blogging have been in much scarcer supply, and each year’s total output on Vftp seems to be a […]

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Explore the Score- Dvorak Stabat Mater

Antonin Dvorak- Stabat Mater, op. 58 Dvorak began and completed his great setting of Jacopone da Todi’s 13th century poem Stabat Mater under a cloud of great personal tragedy. In 1875 his oldest daughter Josefa died only days after her birth. The grieving Dvorak turned to the ancient text of the Stabat Mater, seeing in its evocation of Mary’s grief at the death […]

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ESO Performance of Elgar/Fraser War Symphony a Classical Music Magazine Premiere of the Year

From the December-February issue of Classical Music Magazine, Christopher Morley picks the ESO’s performance of Donald Fraser’s orchestration of the Elgar Piano Quintet as his Premiere of the Year. Congrats to all the wonderful composers and ensembles mentioned in this overview of important first performances. The magazine is on sale now, subscription information is here. […]

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Entertaining our children to death

It’s not often that something from the New York Times Op-ed pages gets you thinking about music for children, but a blog post by Paul Krugman this week reawakened a line of thought that had been simmering away in my subconscious since the premiere last week of the new orchestral version of my setting of […]

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“[One] of the most exciting events I have experienced during a reviewing career approaching half a century” Birmingham Post on ESO Elgar Pilgrimage

  An extraordinary rave review from senior critic Christopher Morley for Donald Fraser’s orchestration of the Elgar Piano Quintet as heard in the final concert of the 2015 Elgar Pilgrimage “Two of the most exciting events I have experienced during a reviewing career approaching half a century involve symphonies Elgar never wrote….This “War Symphony” (the […]

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KENNETH WOODS AND ENGLISH SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA PRESENT AN ELGAR PILGRIMAGE

   For Immediate Release   PERFORMANCES IN MALVERN, HEREFORD AND BIRMINGHAM  COLLABORATION WITH ACADEMIA MUSICA CHOIR AND SINGERS FROM THREE CHOIRS FESTIVAL CHORUS   WORLD PREMIERE PERFORMANCES OF NEWLY-ARRANGED ELGAR WORKS   As the English Symphony Orchestra (ESO) continues its resurgence under Principal Conductor Kenneth Woods, it’s fitting that the ensemble, based in Elgar’s hometown […]

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BREAKING: Trump to Eliminate Horn Splits As President

Ex-trustfunder turned billionaire-blowhard-reality-show-junkie-cum-presidential-candidate Donald Trump waded into fraught cultural waters today with a speech in Vetterficker, Alabama during which he promised to “put an end to horn splits and fracks in my first 100 Trump-days as Trump-President of the United States of Trump.” “Horn splits are a pervasive problem in our orchestral society,” said Trump, […]

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Special arrangements have been made

As many of you know, all of us at the English Symphony Orchestra are busy gearing up for our 2015 Elgar Pilgrimage from the 7th-10th of October, with concerts in some of Elgar’s favourite haunts: Hereford, Malvern and Birmingham (on October 9th and 10th) One of the highlights of the festival promises to be world […]

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RIP Ivan Moravec

It was with real sadness that I learned today of the passing of this pianist Ivan Moravec, a man who was widely recognised as one of the greatest pianists of his generation, but who never quite earned the fame or fortune his artistry merited. The many recordings he made are really treasures and well worth seeking […]

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