Haunted by my visit to Thornfield

Where does an opera really take place? Why, on the stage, I hear you say. Of course, that’s true, but not quite the truth. Der Rosenkavalier and The Magic Flute might take place on the same stage in the same week, but they clearly don’t take place in the same place. Of course, in the […]

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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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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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CD Review: Five Stars from International Piano for ESO/KW Krenek Piano Concertos

A fantastic new 5-star review for the new recording of the Krenek Piano Concertos no.’s 1-3 with pianist Mikhail Korzhev on Toccata Classics/Toccata Press from International Piano Magazine critic Guy Rickards. Benjamin Michael Haas was producing, Ben Connellan was the engineer. Five stars: “On the evidence of the first three, magisterially delivered by Korzhev, they […]

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Explore the Score- Beethoven: Symphony no. 3 in E-flat major, Opus 55, “Sinfonica eroica”

Beethoven’s Third Symphony is a work of such monumental historic and artistic importance that it’s worth prefacing a discussion of it by reminding the reader that even if Beethoven had died before composing it, he would have already secured his place in the pantheon of the greatest composers who had ever lived. Although it was […]

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KW’s 2015 in review- part one, winter and spring

2015 was quite a year for me- a year of very, very hard work, a year of ups and downs with some incredible highlights and some moments of rather intense frustration. I started the year talking- giving a long chat on the Gál symphonies at a gala launch event celebrating the release of Avie’s set […]

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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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Charleston: I am aware

I was not aware of what had just happened, but sometimes, it’s better not to know. Today my colleagues (Matthew Sharp, David LePage, Suzanne Casey and Catherine Leech) and I played a noontime recital as part of the English Symphony Orchestra’s Magna Carta 800 celebrations at Worcester Cathedral . The entire festival has been a […]

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