The BBC Symphony Orchestra has played a central role at the heart of British musical life since its inception in 1930, and as the flagship orchestra of the BBC provides the backbone of the BBC Proms with at least a dozen concerts each year, including the First and Last Nights. Strongly committed to twentieth-century and contemporary music, it has given the premiere of more than 1,000 works by composers such as Bartók, Britten, Hindemith, Holst, Stravinsky and Shostakovich, and more recently has premiered BBC commissions by Simon Bainbridge, Jonathan Dove, Michael Nyman and Sir John Tavener among others. Its annual season of concerts as Associate Orchestra of the Barbican includes a weekend each January focusing upon a single composer from the twentieth or twenty-first century, most recently James MacMillan, Elliott Carter and Sofia Gubaidulina.
Jiří Bĕlohlávek took up the post of Chief Conductor in July 2006 and David Robertson was appointed Principal Guest Conductor in 2005. The BBC SO works frequently with Conductor Laureate Sir Andrew Davis and Artist-in-Association John Adams. All concerts are broadcast on BBC Radio 3 and a number are televised, giving the BBC Symphony Orchestra the highest broadcast profile of any orchestra in the UK. The BBC SO is committed to innovative education work, with ongoing projects including the BBC SO Family Orchestra and Music Intro, introducing families to concert-going.
The BBC SO has appeared on 34 of NMC’s CDs, including the best-selling recording of Elgar’s Third Symphony.
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This addition to NMC's Ancora series reissues Robert Saxton's opera Caritas - based on Arnold Wesker's drama about a walled-up anchoress of the 13th century - alongside his Violin Concerto, Music to Celebrate the Resurrection, In the Beginning and the set of choral motets I Will Awake the Dawn.
Cast of Caritas
Eirian Davies ... Christine
Jonathan Best ... Bishop Henry of Norwich
Christopher Ventris ... Robert Lonle, Christine's fiance
Linda Hibberd ... Agnes, Christine's mother
Roger Bryson ... William, Christine's father
David Gwynne ... Richard Lonle, Robert's father
Paul Wilson ... Mathew, Christine's parish priest
Galloway Bell ... Bailiff
Bruce Budd ... Villager
Brian Cookson ... Tax collector
Linda Ormiston ... Matilde, a village gossip
These recordings were originally released on Collins Classics.
Reissued with funding from Arts Council England.
NMC's Ancora series, salvaging deleted recordings, does Saxton proud with this double set. ... The first disc comprises four works, each a journey from darkness to light: Music To Celebrate the Resurrection begins with a crash and proceeds through sinous argument to a sunburst of octave Es.
The Sunday Times 2004
Recording date: October 1989 (Music to Celebrate...); 19-20 July 1991
Recording venue: The Snape Maltings, Aldeburgh (Music to Celebrate...); Studio 1, Abbey Road, London
Engineers: Sean Lewis (Music to Celebrate...); John Timperley / Simon Rhodes
Producers: John H. West (Music to Celebrate...); Andrew Keener
Recording date: Recorded live on 21, 23, 24 November 1991
Recording venue: Wakefield Opera House, for Huddersfield Contempoerary Music Festival
Engineer: John Timperley
Producer: Edward Fisk
Cover image: Photo: Malcplm Crowthers
Music to Celebrate... (P) 1990 Collins Classics
Violin Concerto / In the beginning/ I will awake .. (P) 1991 Lambourne Productions Ltd
Caritas (P) 1992 Lambourne Productions Ltd