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.
The London Sinfonietta is one of the world’s elite contemporary music ensembles with a reputation built on the virtuosity of its performances and ambitious programming. It is committed to placing new music at the heart of contemporary culture and pushing boundaries; the ensemble regularly undertakes projects with choreographers, video artists, film-makers and collaborations with electronica artists, jazz and folk musicians.
The creation of new music has been at the core of the London Sinfonietta’s work since its foundation in 1968. It has commissioned or premiered over 200 works, ranging from Luciano Berio, Harrison Birtwistle and Steve Reich to the emerging composers involved in its Blue Touch Paper project – including Tansy Davies, Larry Goves and Anna Meredith – an innovative initiative which gives the opportunity to take risks and develop ideas without the pressure of a public performance.
As a conductor, Nicholas has worked with orchestras in the UK and abroad, and is Associate Artistic Director of the Britten Sinfonia. He is also Artistic Director of the Leicester International Festival and teaches in the UK and in Germany, where he is Professor of Oboe at the Hochschule für Musik, Trossingen.
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This Ancora re-issue features Simon Bainbridge's Viola Concerto - commissioned by soloist Walter Trampler; the Fantasia for Double Orchestra, scored for two identical “mirror-image” orchestras placed to the left and right of the stage; and the energetic Concertante in Moto Perpetuo for ten players, featuring oboist Nicholas Daniel.
"Welcome as this reappearance of a fifteen-year-old release most certainly is, it brings home how little of Simon Bainbridge's music — always finely made, always slightly on the edge (and expressive thereby), astonishingly various and yet personal — has made it onto record ... It is the Viola Concerto that makes this record indispensable, and proves Bainbridge did not have to wait for Levi's words to uncover the melancholy and melodic power in his music." Paul Griffiths
The works on this disc are published by United Music Publishers Ltd.
Fantasia for Double Orchestra was recorded at Barking Town Hall on 7 December 1989.
Recording Engineer: MIKE SKEET
Recording Producer: MURRAY KHOURI
The Viola Concerto was recorded at Watford Town Hall on 11-12 May 1982.
Recording Engineer: BOB AUGER
Recording Producer: ANTONY HODGSON
Concertante in Moto Perpetuo was recorded at Rosslyn Hill Chapel, Hampstead on 16 March 1990.
Recording Engineer: MIKE SKEET
Recording Producers: SIMON BAINBRIDGE, NICHOLAS DANIEL
Remastering: DAVID LEFEBER
Executive Producer: COLIN MATTHEWS
Design: FRANCOIS HALL
Cover photo: MALCOLM CROWTHERS
(p) 1990 CL Continuum Ltd (Originally released on Continuum Records in 1992)