Friday, 8 December 2017

Peter Racine Fricker: Celebration of his 60th Birthday in 1980

Last year, I  reviewed the new CD from Lyrita (REAM 1124) featuring Peter Racine Fricker’s impressive oratorio The Vision of Judgment, op.29 (1957) and the equally striking Symphony No.5 for organ and orchestra, op.74 (1976). As part of my background reading for this review I discovered that The Vision had been originally been recorded on at Leeds Festival on 19 April 1974. It was subsequently broadcast as a part of the 1980 celebrations of Fricker’s 60th birthday. A little further research showed that the BBC broadcast a series of seven programmes over a two month period which featured a good selection of the composer’s music. I feel that that list of works presented make an ideal introduction to Fricker’s music. Most pieces are available on CD or YouTube.  Please note that the list of works is that proposed in the Radio Times: it is possible that there may have been some changes to the schedule. However, it remains an impressive survey of Fricker’s music.
Peter Racine Fricker was born in London on 5 September 1920 and died in Santa Barbara California on 1 Feb 1990.

Programme Schedule:
Friday 5 September 1980
‘Peter Racine Fricker is the most prominent in the generation of British composers to emerge after the 1939-45 war.’  Since the mid-1960s he has been a leading member of the Music Faculty at the University of California, Santa Barbara. On the occasion of Fricker's 60th birthday, Ian Kemp looks back over his music as a whole and previews Radio 3's seven-part orchestral and choral series which begins next Friday afternoon.’

Friday 12 September: Programme No.1
Rondo Scherzoso (1948)
Violin Concerto No.1, op.11 (1949/50)
Symphony No.1, op.9 (1948/49)
Yfrah Neaman (violin), BBC Northern Symphony/Bryden Thomson 

Wednesday 17 September: Programme No.2
Comedy Overture, op.32 (1958)
Concerto for Piano and Small Orchestra. Opus 19 – for Harriet Cohen (1954)
Symphony No.2, op.14 (1950/51)
David Wilde (piano) BBC Northern Symphony Orchestra/Albert Rosen

Monday 22 September: Programme No.3
Prelude, elegy and finale, op.10 (1949)
Concertante No.1 for cor anglais and string orchestra, op.13 (1950)
Introitus for orchestra, op.66 (1972)
Concertante No. 4 for flute, oboe, violin and strings, op.52 (1968)
Mustek's Empire, for chorus and small orchestra, op.27 (1955)
Barry Wilde (violin), David Haslam (flute), Gareth Hulse (oboe),  Colin Kellett (cor anglais), Sinfonia Chorus, chorus-master Alan Fearon, Northern Sinfonia /Norman Del Mar

Thursday 2 October: Programme No.4
Concerto for Viola and Orchestra, op.18 for William Primrose (1952/53)
Symphony No.3, op.36 (1960)
Csaba Erdélyi (viola), BBC Northern Symphony Orchestra/Edward Downes

Tuesday 7 October: Programme No.5
Rapsodia Concertante, for violin and orchestra (Violin Concerto No. 2) (1954)
Symphony No.4, op.43 ‘In Memoriam Matyas Seiber’ (1966)
Erich Gruenberg (violin), BBC Northern Symphony Orchestra/Maurice Handford

Tuesday 14 October: Programme No.6
The Vision of Judgement, op.29 (1958)
Jane Manning (soprano), Robert Tear (tenor), Leeds Festival Chorus, chorus master Donald Hunt, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra/Sir Charles Groves

Tuesday 21st October: Programme No.7 (Final)
Three scenes for orchestra, op.45 (1966)
O Longs Desirs: Five Songs for soprano and orchestra op.39 (1963) 
Symphony No. 5 for organ and orchestra, op.74 (1975) 
Jennifer Bate (organ), Eiddwen Harrhy (soprano), BBC Northern Symphony Orchestra/Christopher Adey.

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