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The Bourbaki Ensemble: ten years of music for strings


The Bourbaki Ensemble: ten years of music for strings

  • Date: Sunday, 12 December 2010, 2:30pm
  • Venue: St Stephen's Church, Newtown — 189 Church St, Newtown, NSW
  • Tickets: Adults: $22 | Children: $15 | Concession: $15 — Tickets can be purchased by phone on 0433 074 322

Event Details

On Sunday 12 December (not 5 December as previously advertised) the Bourbaki Ensemble will celebrate its first decade with a concert entitled "ten years of music for strings".
* Thomas Wilson, St.Kentigern Suite.
* Charles Ives, The Rainbow (Rachel Tolmie, cor anglais).
* Phillip Wilcher, Adagio for flute, cor anglais, piano and string orchestra (Christine Draeger, flute; Rachel Tolmie, cor anglais; Prue Gibbs, piano).
* Terry Riley, In C.

Performers: The Bourbaki Ensemble David Angell, conductor Rachel Tolmie, cor anglais Christine Draeger, flute Prue Gibbs, piano

The "St.Kentigern Suite" by Scottish composer Thomas Wilson (1927-2002) was written for the 850th anniversary celebrations of Glasgow Cathedral. The five parts of the suite are entitled "Bird", "Fish", "Ring", "Bell" and "Tree": symbols which are strongly associated with the stories of St.Kentigern and which nowadays appear on the coat of arms of the city of Glasgow. They have also inspired the composer to write some wonderfully descriptive music in which are heard the soaring of birds, slithery fishy bubblings and the joyous clamour of bells. The "St.Kentigern Suite" has been acclaimed by critics as "dazzling" and "beautifully written for strings".

Charles Ives, America's first great composer, has been a staple of Bourbaki's tenth year, one of his numerous visionary shorter pieces appearing in each of our 2010 concerts. To finish the season it's "The Rainbow", a wordless setting of Wordsworth's lines beginning "My heart leaps up when I behold a rainbow in the sky". The vocal line is given to a solo cor anglais, supported by a chamber orchestra of flute, piano and strings. This amazing piece seems to contain in its three-minute span enough musical variety to last most other composers half an hour!

Over the years the Bourbaki Ensemble has had the privilege of performing and recording a number of pieces by Sydney composer Phillip Wilcher. Phillip's recent "Adagio" combines poignant melodies with a delicate and carefully crafted harmonic and contrapuntal accompaniment. The work was written for and is dedicated to the Bourbaki Ensemble, and we are delighted to be giving its premiere performance at this concert.

Terry Riley's "In C" is in effect a semi-controlled improvisation for an ensemble of any instruments in any numbers! It is customarily performed by mixed groups of strings, winds, keyboards and percussion; however, we look forward to demonstrating the wide variety of sounds that can be created by strings alone (with the assistance of a piano). The work consists of 53 brief segments, each player individually proceeding from one to the next when he feels it is time to do so. Players are encouraged to construct a coherent piece of music by listening attentively to one another and styling their performance accordingly. What results is a superimposition of melodic patterns which subtly but continually changes throughout the course of the piece.

Featured non-Australian music: Terry Riley, In C; Charles Ives, The Rainbow; Thomas Wilson, St.Kentigern Suite

Further information for this event is available online at the event's website or by phone on 0433 074 322 or by email to david.355.113@gmail.com

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