Nocturne op. 48.1 : for symphonic orchestra
by Charles Bodman Rae (2010)
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Prelude, op. 45, and Nocturne, op. 48.1 : for symphonic orchestra / Fryderyk Chopin ; orchestrated by Charles Bodman Rae.
Library shelf no. Q 784.2/BOD 1 [Available for loan]
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A new, orchestral versions of Chopin's Nocturne in C minor, op.48 no.1. This and his Prelude in C sharp minor, op.45, were specially written for, were premiered by, and are dedicated to, the Polish conductor, Jacek Kaspszyk, and the Polish National Radio Symphony Orchestra, to form parts of the official celebrations in 2010 of the bicentenary of Chopin's birth. The Prelude was orchestrated first, and had a specific purpose: to draw public attention to the way Chopin's advanced, chromatic, and highly expressive harmony anticipates key works by Wagner and Mahler. Hence the premiere of the Prelude was followed by Wagner's Wesendonk Lieder, and Mahler's Fifth Symphony. The Nocturne was composed as a companion to the Prelude, so that the two can be performed together (without a break). The choice of this particular Nocturne was influenced not only by the Mahlerian idea, but also by the inspiring piano lessons I received as a teenager from Dame Fanny Waterman. It is thus a double birthday tribute: to Chopin's 200th birthday; and to Dame Fanny Waterman's 90th birthday.
Instrumentation: 3 flutes (3rd doubling piccolo), 2 oboes, cor anglais, 2 clarinets in B flat, bass clarinet in B flat, 2 bassoons, contrabassoon, 4 horns in F, 2 trumpets in C, 3 trombones, tuba, timpani, harp, strings.
Duration: 8 min.
First performance: by Jacek Kaspszyk, Polish National Radio Symphony Orchestra — 30 Oct 10. Fitelberg Concert Hall, Katowice, Poland, as part of the official Polish celebrations of 2010 as the 'Chopin Year' (Rok Chopina)
The work is intended to be performed in symphonic programmes containing works by Wagner and Mahler, so that audiences might appreciate the influence that Chopin may have had (via Liszt) on Wagner, Mahler and others. Ideally, the works should be performed together, as a pair; but it is also possible to perform them separately.
Performances of this work
30 Oct 10: Fitelberg Concert Hall, Katowice, Poland, as part of the official Polish celebrations of 2010 as the 'Chopin Year' (Rok Chopina). Featuring Jacek Kaspszyk, Polish National Radio Symphony Orchestra.
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