Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Michael S. Wright: Chineke!: Samuel Coleridge-Taylor: Ballade for orchestra, Op.33; Philip Herbert: Elegy - In memoriam Stephen Lawrence; Brahms & Beethoven

Philip Herbert

On July 14, 2015 AfriClassical posted:

Michael S. Wright comments:

Hi Bill,

As previously said, this is a really welcome addition to the UK ‘classical’ music scene and I wish the project every success. Hopefully, I will get to London to see this event despite the fact that my diary is fairly full around the period. I am also hoping that the publicity machine gets cranked up so that there are queues for tickets. The full programme has now been announced:

Samuel Coleridge-Taylor: Ballade for orchestra, Op.33
Philip Herbert: Elegy - In memoriam Stephen Lawrence
Johannes Brahms: Variations on a theme by Haydn (St. Anthony)
Ludwig Van Beethoven: Symphony No.7

The first item makes a good starter and the new work by Philip Herbert is most welcome and hopefully, be a landmark work that will commemorate a most serious injustice and police corruption in the UK. At this point, I must draw readers to the Stephen Lawrence Trust and hope that awareness of this concert and awareness of the trust can be increased as a result. I am hoping that Philip’s work will serve as a future reminder to all who live in this ‘Land of Hope and Glory’.

With some reluctance, I express a slight concern that the latter part of the concert returns to well-known ‘standard Western European classical repertoire’ works, sometimes dubbed orchestral  ‘war horses’. Good as these works are, I was expecting something else. I may be ‘sticking my head out’ but feel that an opportunity may be lost here. This is a new project and needs no ‘dumbing down to simply please typical British audiences. Perhaps, a symphony by Still, Hailstork or one of those amazingly accessible jazz styled orchestral works by Baker should be included. Perhaps a major work by distinguished English composers Errolyn Wallen MBE or Shirley Thompson – like ‘New Nation Rising, A 21st Century Symphony’.

Kind regards


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