Christoph-Mathias Mueller, a Swiss national, is ‘without a doubt ... among the most gifted and interesting conductors of his generation’ (Gazeta Kultura Moscow). As the General Music Director of the Göttingen Symphony Orchestra, he conveys a wide range of repertoire with his compelling passion, precision, rousing energy and artistic authenticity.
After winning the International Conducting Competition in Cadaqués, Spain in 2000, Claudio Abbado appointed Mueller as the assistant conductor for the Gustav Mahler Jugendorchester and the Lucerne Festival Orchestra. A regular at the Bolshoi Theatre in Moscow, he has also appeared internationally
with leading orchestras such as the Norwegian Radio Orchestra Oslo, Russian National Orchestra, Czech Philharmonic, Orchestre de Lyon, Tonhalle Orchestra
Zurich, BBC NOW, Scottish Chamber Orchestra and Ensemble Modern.
The award-winning Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra is the UK's oldest surviving professional symphony orchestra and has been at the heart of Liverpool’s cultural life since 1840. The Orchestra gives approximately 70 concerts each season in its home, Liverpool Philharmonic Hall, as well as concerts in venues across the city, including Liverpool’s two cathedrals.
The Orchestra tours regularly throughout the UK and world-wide and has an extensive discography featuring many critically acclaimed recordings.
Their contemporary music group, Ensemble 10/10, also award-winning, is at the cutting edge of classical music, commissioning and performing new music by many of today’s leading composers.
Its Chief Conductor, Vasily Petrenko, joined the RLPO in 2006 and is committed to stay with the Orchestra till 2015. Born in 1976, he is recognised as one of the exceptional musicians of his generation.
Clark Rundell is Director of Contemporary Music and Head of Conducting at the RNCM, and Artistic Director of the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic's new music Group, Ensemble 10/10. He studied trombone and conducting at Northwestern University, Chicago, and was subsequently awarded a Junior Fellowship to study conducting with Timothy Reynish at the RNCM. He regularly conducts the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, with whom he made his début in 1987, as well as the BBC Philharmonic, BBC Scottish, BBC Symphony Orchestra, Northern Sinfonia, Hallé and the Philharmonia Orchestra, with whom he recently performed at the Royal Albert Hall.
Deeply committed to the performance of new music, Clark has given world premières of works by composers including Louis Andriessen, Django Bates, David Bedford, Sir Richard Rodney Bennett, Gary Carpenter, Adam Gorb and and Mark-Anthony Turnage.
A highly versatile musician, Clark served for fourteen years as Director of Jazz Studies at the RNCM, and has performed with artists such as John Dankworth, Bob Brookmeyer, Cleo Laine and Andy Sheppard. As an arranger, he has worked with Louis Andriessen and Mark-Anthony Turnage.
10/10 was founded by two RLPO members, clarinettistNicholas Cox and cellist Hilary Browning. Since its first concert on 22 November 1997 at 10.10pm, it has become established as a regular feature of Liverpool concert life, under the baton of conductor Clark Rundell.
10/10’s concerts are an eclectic mixture of new commissions, world premieres and contemporary classics given in an informal atmosphere. The Royal Liverpool Philharmonic has commissioned a huge range of UK composers for the Ensemble, as well as many from abroad. 10/10 explores the best new music from around the world, but equally it actively supports local composers – concerts always include music from the North west.
Ensemble 10/10 is the winner of two awards at the 2009 RPS Music Awards, the Concert Series and Festivals category and, along with the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, the Ensemble category.
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Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra
Christoph-Mathias Mueller conductor
Clark Rundell conductor
Wunderkammer(konzert) - the title work of this first album devoted to the music of Liverpool-born Kenneth Hesketh - is a chamber concerto exploring the idea of the Wunderkammer, or 'cabinet of curiosities', which flourished in the 16th to 18th centuries. Graven Image is inspired by the medieval memento mori, a painting or sculpture designed to remind its owner of the brevity of life, while At God speeded summer’s end uses melodic ideas influenced by the structure of Dylan Thomas's poem Prologue.
A Rhyme for the Season, written for the RLPO, explores ideas of rhyme and assonance; while Ein Lichtspiel (after Moholy-Nagy), commissioned by Ensemble 10/10 for its 10th birthday, is a response to the Hungarian artist's 1930 film of effects produced by his invention, the Light-Space Modulator.
The works on this disc were written largely for their performers here, with whom Hesketh has collaborated on many occasions.
'In Ein Lichtspiel (after Moholy-Nagy), the 'play of light' flickers and flares through a well-proportioned sequence of pungently orchestrated sound-images: here, as throughout, performance and recording are first-rate' Gramophone
‘Musical figures drift and dart in and out of focus in dense and intoxicating textures. This is evident especially in the rich orchestral textures of At God speeded Summer’s End or Rhyme for the Season. The recording and performance are excellent, the sleeve notes - which include a biographical note by Paul Griffiths - generous and informative … highly recommended’ Composition Today (Recording of the Month)
‘Evocative bewilderments of utterance. At God speeded summer’s end proves nothing less than triumphant. How deliciously evocative his music can be’ 5:4 blog
'Colourful and exuberant textures are channelled with clear-headed precision. Highly recommended' Composition Today
‘Hesketh’s music is energetic and skittish, rarely settling on a single idea or texture for long, always unpredictable in its progressions, rich in ideas. In the modernist tradition, it has a 21st-century breadth of influence, and is very listenable’ Tempo
'Hesketh's music is beautiful, complex and restless [...]. His response to musical form are particularly remarkable[...]. The colorful orchestration and palpable verse in the individual gestures and large-scale construction make me want to return to them again and again. The performances are committed and expert in every way.' American Record Guide
Graven Image, At God speeded summer’s end and A Rhyme for the Season were recorded at Philharmonic Hall, Hope Street, Liverpool on 13 July 2012.
Recording Engineer / Producer DAVID LEFEBER
Ein Lichtspiel and Wunderkammer(konzert) were recorded at Liverpool Philharmonic at the Friary, West Everton on 12 June 2009.
Recording Engineer / Digital Editing DAVID A PIGOTT
Recording Producer MICHAEL OGONOVSKY
Mixing / Mastering DAVID LEFEBER
Executive Producer COLIN MATTHEWS
Graphic Design FRANCOIS HALL
Cover image: JOSEPH CORNELL: Solomon Islands 1940-1942
© The Joseph and Robert Cornell Memorial Foundation/DACS, London/VAGA, New York 2013
(P) 2013 NMC Recordings Ltd
© 2013 NMC Recordings Ltd