Sunday, 9 March 2008

Alan Rawsthorne: Kubla Khan – a world premiere

So often the works of Manchester-born composers are ignored in the concert hall. How often do we hear music by Eric Fogg, Hubert Proctor-Gregg or Thomas Pitfield presented to the musical public in the North Country? I have always felt that the Halle Orchestral is less than supportive of ‘native’ music and tends to concentrate on ‘Euro’ pot boilers.
So it is refreshing to discover that the Amadeus Orchestra is due to perform a ‘lost’ work by Alan Rawsthorne on 30th March 2008 at the Bridgewater Hall, Manchester.

The Amadeus Orchestra is “one of the world's foremost training orchestras for young professionals and music students.” They meet some three times a year for top class coaching and give exciting and important performances. Their next concert will include the world premiere of Rawsthorne’s Kubla Khan and a performance of Mahler’s massive Resurrection Symphony.

Kubla Khan was written in 1940 for soloist, chorus and orchestra and sets the well known words of Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s exotic poem. After the work’s first performance in 1940 the full score was lost in a wartime bombing raid. However the vocal score survived and has been realised for performance by Edward Harper who has provided a new orchestration.
It is surely a great achievement that this long forgotten work by a Haslingden born composer has been rediscovered and presented to Manchester concert-goers. This surely promises to be a ‘colourful’ work that presumes to be a ‘dream like evocation of an exotic land.’

Amadeus Orchestra Webpage

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