Artistic Director: Amelia Freedman CBE FRAM
The Nash Ensemble has built up a remarkable reputation as one of Britain's finest chamber groups and, through the dedication of its founder and artistic director Amelia Freedman and the virtuosity of its players, has gained a similar reputation all over the world. The repertoire is vast and the imaginative, innovative and unusual programmes are as finely architectured as the beautiful Nash terraces in London from which the group takes its name. Not that the Nash Ensemble is classically restricted; it performs with equal sensitivity and musicality works from Mozart to the avant-garde, having given first performances of over 255 new works to date. These include 150 commissions especially written for the Group, providing a legacy for generations to come. An impressive collection of recordings illustrates the same varied and colourful combination of classical masterpieces, little-known neglected gems and important contemporary works.
The Nash makes many foreign tours: concerts have been given throughout Europe and the USA, and in South America, Australia and Japan. The group is a regular visitor to many British music festivals and can be heard on radio, television, at their renowned annual series at Wigmore Hall as well as at the Southbank Centre and the BBC Proms, and at music clubs throughout the country. The ensemble has won the Edinburgh Festival Critics' music award 'for general artistic excellence', and two Royal Philharmonic Society awards in the small ensemble category 'for the breadth of its taste and its immaculate performance of a wide range of music'.
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This introduction to the music of Rupert Bawden features his chamber opera The Sailor's Tale - a counterpart to Stravinsky's Soldier's Tale and written for the same forces - setting Kevin Crossley-Holland's libretto on the life and loves of Horatio Nelson. Also on the disc are the panoramic Two Studies for Orchestra, based on the Tristan legend, and the energetic ensemble work The Donkey Dances.
The Sailor's Tale:
Alexander Grove tenor
Flora McIntosh mezzo-soprano
Andrew Heggie baritone
Children of Alderman Peel High School, Norfolk
The Creakes Sinfonia
Gary Cheung conductor
"A well produced CD and a good introduction to an appealing, quirky composer."
Musical Pointers, 2004
Recording date: 14 September 1994
Recording venue: St David's Hall, Cardiff
Engineers: Eddie James, Trevor Barker
Producers: Mike Goerge, Huw Tregelles Williams
The Donkey Dances:
Recording date: 5 March 1993
Recording venue: Purcell Room, London
Producer: Alan Hall for BBC Radio 3
The Sailor's Tale:
Recording date: 2-3 May 2003
Recording venue: St Mary's Church, South Creake, Norfolk
Engineer: Keith Jordan
Producer: David Lefeber
Editing & mastering: David Lefeber
Cover image: Francois Hall
Two Studies / The Donkey Dances (P) 2004 BBC
The Sailor's Tale / Beasts of the Sea (P) 2004 NMC Recordings Ltd