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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The first full-length disc from highly-acclaimed young composer David Sawer, featuring scintillating orchestral score the greatest happiness principle, ensemble works Tiroirs and The Memory of Water, and a specially-arranged orchestral suite taken from Sawer’s opera From Morning to Midnight, heard here for the first time.
The disc features the BBC Symphony Orchestra and Birmingham Contemporary Music Group, conducted by Martyn Brabbins and Susanna Malkki
"Though the most substantial work in this collection is the 'symphonic' suite that the composer extracted from his opera, From Morning to Midnight, ... the other pieces, all from the late 1990s, show the unfailing originality and distinctiveness of everything David Sawer composes. The chamber orchestral Tiroirs is a sequence of razor-sharp images, each perfectly scored and imagined, and shuffled with a conjuror's virtuosity; The Memory of Water, for string orchestra and a pair of solo violins whose spatial relationship steadily shifts through the course of the piece, is a compelling musical flux that Sawer likens to a flowing river from which ideas emerge only to be submerged again."
The Guardian 2007
From Morning to Midnight/ the greatest happiness principle:
Recording date: 19-21 September 2005
Recording venue: BBC Studio 1, Maida Vale, London
Engineer: Neil Pemberton
Producer: Ann McKay
Tiroirs/ Memory of Water:
Recording date: 6 March 2005, 12 February 2006
Recording venue: CBSO Centre and Adrian Boult Hall, Birmingham
Engineer: Mike Clements
Producer: Andrew Walton
Cover image: Francois Hall
(P) 2007 NMC Recordings Ltd