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Violin Concertos

Thomas Bowes

Violin Concertos

Format: CD
Label: Signum Classics
UPC: 0635212023822
Catnr: SIGCD 238
Release date: 01 May 2011
1 CD
 
Label
Signum Classics
UPC
0635212023822
Catalogue number
SIGCD 238
Release date
01 May 2011
Album
Artist(s)
Composer(s)
EN

About the album

Walton’s Violin Concerto was composed during a stay at the stunning Villa Cimbrone on Italy's Amalfi coast, and reflects this environment in different ways – some more apparent than others (the 2nd movement is based on a ‘tarantella’, after Walton suffered a tarantula bite whilst there). The piece has endured as one of his most popular works, and is contrasted here by Barber’s Violin Concerto and famous Adagio for Strings. Thomas Bowes has built a firm reputation as an orchestral leader, soloist and chamber musician. He has also concert-mastered many film scores – the most recent credit being for "The King's Speech". The Malmö Opera Orchestra and conductor Joseph Swensen join him for this recording.

Artist(s)

Thomas Bowes (violin)

“In everything he played, Bowes revealed an exacting and deeply felt musicianship.” Los Angeles Times “The playing was superb: brilliant, authoritative, free, passionate, totally committed, and powerfully projected. Bowes’ tone is intense, variable and pure; his identification with every style was complete,…” Strings Magazine USA The product of many years of steady growth, the playing of Thomas Bowes is now fast gaining international recognition. Not a child prodigy, or an early developer, Bowes has spent many years developing an unusually deep and expressive musical personality. In concerto repertoire Bowes has featured British composers. He has played the Elgar concerto in the USA and Germany as well as in the UK, most recently with the Hallé and Mark Elder. With the...
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“In everything he played, Bowes revealed an exacting and deeply felt musicianship.” Los Angeles Times “The playing was superb: brilliant, authoritative, free, passionate, totally committed, and powerfully projected. Bowes’ tone is intense, variable and pure; his identification with every style was complete,…” Strings Magazine USA The product of many years of steady growth, the playing of Thomas Bowes is now fast gaining international recognition. Not a child prodigy, or an early developer, Bowes has spent many years developing an unusually deep and expressive musical personality. In concerto repertoire Bowes has featured British composers. He has played the Elgar concerto in the USA and Germany as well as in the UK, most recently with the Hallé and Mark Elder. With the Britten concerto he made a dramatic German debut with the Bremen Philharmonic, stepping in at less than 24 hours notice for performances BIOGRAPHIES with Sian Edwards in 2003. Bowes also has a deep knowledge of that other glory of the English violin concerto, that by Walton. In 2004, he spent 3 weeks at the invitation of Lady Walton studying the work at the composer’s home on Ischia. He performed it in Oxford in 2005 in collaboration with the late Vernon Handley: “First up was Walton’s highly passionate Violin Concerto, handled with immense skill by Thomas Bowes… The result is an extraordinary fusion of the player and the music, in which Bowes seems to engage totally with the composer’s emotions and intentions…And all this was combined with Bowes’s own musicianship, technical mastery and tonal purity to produce a performance of rare quality.” Oxford Times. Bowes has excelled with the sensual and still little played Szymanowski concertos, making a specially recorded broadcast of No.2 for the 1998 BBC Proms season with the Ulster Orchestra and Takou Yuasa. Future plans include the concertos of Bartók and Schoenberg.
Bowes is an enthusiastic champion of contemporary music and made his debut with the BBC National Orchestra of Wales in the world premiere of John Metcalf’s concerto “Paradise Haunts…”. He has recorded the work for Signum Classics with the BBC NOW and Grant Llewellyn. In 2001 he premiered the concerto of Eleanor Alberga with the SCO and Joseph Swensen to a flourish of rave reviews. The work was an SCO commission. Plans for a second Alberga concerto are taking shape. Born in Hertfordshire and graduating from the masterclass of Bela Katona at Trinity College of Music in 1982, Bowes joined the London Philharmonic in 1985 and a year later the Academy of St Martin in the Fields. In 1987 he gave his London recital debut and between 1988 and1992 was the founding leader of the Maggini String Quartet. In 1989 he was invited to become the leader of the London Mozart Players, making a BBC Proms debut with them and Jane Glover in 1991. Still in demand as a guest leader, Bowes has led many of the UK’s finest orchestras – LSO, Philharmonia, RPO, London Sinfonietta, SCO, BBC Symphony Orchestra, CBSO, and in France, L’Orchestre National du Capitole de Toulouse. Bowes has also concert-mastered plenty of film scores, working closely with many eminent film composers. But it is as a solo artist, both as recitalist and concerto player, that he has made the greatest impression since 1993. Forming, in 1995, the duo “Double Exposure” with his wife, the composer and pianist Eleanor Alberga, the Duo toured regularly and extensively in the USA until 2000. They made a ground breaking trip to five Chinese cities in 1997 as well as broadcasting and concertising in the UK. The repertoire was adventurous and featured commissions and first performances from Alberga herself as well as a host of US and UK composers. A New York recital at Carnegie in 2000 was extensively and tellingly reviewd by the distinguished writer Paul Griffiths in the New York Times.
In 2003 Bowes became the Artistic Director of the Langvad Chamber Music Jamboree in northern Denmark and more recently with Eleanor Alberga founded the chamber music festival Arcadia in north Herefordshire.

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Malmö Opera Orchestra

Malmö Opera Orchestra was founded in 1991. Consisting of 62 musicians, the orchestra is recognised for its ability to master a wide range of musical styles: from the classic operas to contemporary music dramas and ballet. The musicians are just as familiar with West Side Story as they are with La Traviata, and they have also performed modern opera, such as Hans Gefors’ Vargen kommer and Jake Heggie’s Dead Man Walking. Each season, the orchestra performs a number of symphonic concerts along with Gala and chamber concerts. The orchestra has made several recordings, which include symphonic music and operatic performances. In 2015 Leif Segerstam became the orchestra’s honorary conductor after he completed his term as principal conductor. The principal guest conductor is...
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Malmö Opera Orchestra was founded in 1991. Consisting of 62 musicians, the orchestra is recognised for its ability to master a wide range of musical styles: from the classic operas to contemporary music dramas and ballet. The musicians are just as familiar with West Side Story as they are with La Traviata, and they have also performed modern opera, such as Hans Gefors’ Vargen kommer and Jake Heggie’s Dead Man Walking.
Each season, the orchestra performs a number of symphonic concerts along with Gala and chamber concerts. The orchestra has made several recordings, which include symphonic music and operatic performances. In 2015 Leif Segerstam became the orchestra’s honorary conductor after he completed his term as principal conductor. The principal guest conductor is currently Steven Sloane
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Joseph Swensen (conductor)

Composer(s)

Samuel Barber

The American composer Samuel Barber is one of the most celebrated 20th-century composers. He was never a part of the musical avant-garde, and wrote instead pieces in a Romantic idiom, characterized by rich harmonies and complex rhythms. His most beloved work is het lyrical Adagio for Strings, an arrangement of the slow movement of his String Quartet, that can be heard in both concerts and films. His Knoxville: Summer of 1915 for soprano and orchestra is also regularly performed. Barber became interested in music at an early age, and was very talented indeed. At the age of seven he wrote his first composition, a short piece for piano. Two years later he knew that he was meant to be a composer....
more
The American composer Samuel Barber is one of the most celebrated 20th-century composers. He was never a part of the musical avant-garde, and wrote instead pieces in a Romantic idiom, characterized by rich harmonies and complex rhythms. His most beloved work is het lyrical Adagio for Strings, an arrangement of the slow movement of his String Quartet, that can be heard in both concerts and films. His Knoxville: Summer of 1915 for soprano and orchestra is also regularly performed.
Barber became interested in music at an early age, and was very talented indeed. At the age of seven he wrote his first composition, a short piece for piano. Two years later he knew that he was meant to be a composer. During his studies he wrote a number of successful compositions which put him into the spotlight of the American musical life. He made his international breakthrough during his travels through Europe in 1935-1936 with his colleague and partner Gian Carlo Menotti.
Barber’s compositions were performed by leading conductors such as Dimitri Mitropoulos, George Szell and Leopold Stokowski. He also received commissions by famous artists and authorities. Barber was commissioned by the Metropolitan Opera to compose a new opera for the opening of its new building in 1966. The premiere of this work, Antony and Cleopatra, was plagued with technical problems that overshadowed Barber’s music. The critics rejected the work, which sent the composer into a depression. After his recovery he continued to compose till the end of his life.

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William Walton

Sir William Walton, in full Sir William Turner Walton, (born March 29, 1902, Oldham, Lancashire, Eng.—died March 8, 1983, Ischia, Italy), English composer especially known for his orchestral music. His early work made him one of England’s most important composers between the time of Vaughan Williams and that of Benjamin Britten. Walton, the son of a choirmaster father and a vocalist mother, studied violin and piano desultorily as a boy and also sang, with somewhat better results, in his father’s choir. He taught himself composition, although he received advice from both Ernest Ansermet and Ferruccio Busoni. In 1912 he entered the University of Oxford, where he sang in the choir of Christ Church. He put in the requisite four years of study but failed by one examination (Responsonions) to win a bachelor of music degree....
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Sir William Walton, in full Sir William Turner Walton, (born March 29, 1902, Oldham, Lancashire, Eng.—died March 8, 1983, Ischia, Italy), English composer especially known for his orchestral music. His early work made him one of England’s most important composers between the time of Vaughan Williams and that of Benjamin Britten.

Walton, the son of a choirmaster father and a vocalist mother, studied violin and piano desultorily as a boy and also sang, with somewhat better results, in his father’s choir. He taught himself composition, although he received advice from both Ernest Ansermet and Ferruccio Busoni. In 1912 he entered the University of Oxford, where he sang in the choir of Christ Church. He put in the requisite four years of study but failed by one examination (Responsonions) to win a bachelor of music degree. At Oxford he had met the Sitwell brothers, Osbert and Sacheverell, by whom he was virtually adopted, and he spent most of the next decade traveling with them or living with them at Chelsea. During this period he composed Façade (1923)—a set of pieces for chamber ensemble, to accompany the Sitwells’ sister Edith in a recitation of her poetry—as well as Sinfonia Concertante for piano and orchestra (1928; revised 1943) and Portsmouth Point (1926), which established his reputation as an orchestral composer.

Walton was influenced by some of his older contemporaries, notably Edward Elgar, Igor Stravinsky, and Paul Hindemith. Hindemith was soloist in the first performance of one of Walton’s finest works, his Viola Concerto (1929). Walton also composed a number of scores for motion pictures, including Major Barbara (1941), Henry V (1944), Hamlet (1947), and Richard III (1954). His vocal music includes the oratorio Belshazzar’s Feast (1931) and the operas Troilus and Cressida (1954) and The Bear (one act; 1967). The composer received a knighthood in 1951.


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