Review: BBC NOW - Britten's Violin Concerto @ WMC
2013 sees the centenary of Benjamin Britten's 100th birthday. He is regarded as a giant of 20th century British music. Festivals are planned all over the world in on honour to him.
Starting off the year, BBC NOW preformed his Violin Concerto with Matthew Trusler on violin. It's a very interesting concerto and the first two movements have a delightful English folk quality. Like some other composers of the same time, folk music was very influential in its incorporation into orchestral scores. I doubt there is another concerto like this.
His playing was highly attentive and I believe he had the sheet music as well. Something which isn't usually done by a soloist. He was after all, replacing Vilde Frang, who fell ill and couldn't preform. He also raised his heels a lot when performing. He swelled up and down when doing this.
A rare treat was John Pickard's Tenebrae. The piece is about Don Carlos the famous Prince of Venosa (Verdi made an opera of out him). The work quotes some of the prince's own music and the sheer power in the score had the audience gripped.
The last work was one by Britten's teacher Frank Bridge. The Sea is one of his most famous works even if he's not one of the generation's most famous composers. The work is very British in its deception of the sea. Just as Debussy's depiction of the sea in Le Mer is very French. I didn't warm to this piece but it had moments of sheer grandness. Would be nice to hear some more of his work as well.
This year is certainly Britten's and there will be much more to be heard.
Watch this space...
Related Article: Cardiff Young Persons Music Network Meeting