AV2362

CD Review- Gramophone Magazine on Elgar arr. Fraser- Sea Pictures and Piano Quintet

Critic Andrew Achenbach writes in the July 2016 issue of Gramophone Magazine. “To my ears, Fraser’s richly upholstered orchestration works a treat yet also manages to be astutely appreciative of the simmering passion and sense of loss that permeate this wistful creation (the Adagio slow movement is especially affecting). Plaudits, too, for Woods’s characteristically lucid […]

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AV2362

CD Review- BBC Music Magazine on Elgar/Fraser Piano Quintet and Sea Pictures

A review from critic Stephen Johnson in the July 2016 issue of BBC Music Magazine for the new Avie Records recording of Elgar’s Piano Quintet and Sea Pictures as orchestrated by Donald Fraser. “The result is pretty remarkable. Fraser hasn’t just translated Elgar’s notes into rich and powerful orchestral terms, he as added (discreetly it […]

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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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Special arrangements have been made

NOW AVAILABLE 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 […]

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Havergal Brian- The Gothic Symphony at the Proms. A few more thoughts….

This is a follow-up to an earlier post on the Proms performance of Havergal Brian’s Gothic Symphony. You may find this post more interesting and coherent if you read that one first. ______________________________________________   Well, one week ago, if you had told me that much of the last seven days of my life would have […]

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What’s wrong, what’s great, and what the future looks like (hint: good if we don’t blow it)

Hello Vftp friends and fans: First- the final installment of our top 20 of conducting is done and will go up soon. Apologies for the delay. It has been a very, very hectic and intense couple of weeks at Vftp Intl Road Headquarters. This time last week, I was putting the finishing touches on what […]

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Guest blog- Nigel Hughes, trombonist

Regular Vftp readers will have read before about my colleague at the Wrexham Symphony Orchestra, Nigel Hughes. Nigel is the orchestra’s principal trombonist. He is also blind. (He also designed the orchestra’s excellent website). The fact that someone can play works like Rachmaninov 1, Shostakovich 7 and Mahler 6 (a sampling of the works we’ve […]

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Heartbreaking rehearsal tricks of staggering genius

Real insights tend to be so simple and so blindingly obvious once they’re found…. Elgar Enigma Variations, Variation 2…. A nasty, highly chromatic little perpetual motion study. Hardest movement in the piece….. I’ve played it and conducted it many times, and covered it a few others…. Everyone (in my experience), including me, rehearses it the […]

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