Posts Tagged ‘Messiaen’
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WildKat PR is delighted to welcome back Music@Malling for the fourth time. Music@Malling brings world-class artists to historic local venues in West Malling, Kent, combining a hugely successful outreach programme with a firm commitment to new music. This year sees the seventh iteration of the festival, in which 24 events will take place over 10 days, featuring music of leading contemporary composers, alongside classical, jazz and folk music. The festival aims to engage with the local community through education and outreach work and to provide events that both enrich and entertain audiences. Music@Malling aspires to develop innovative and creative projects that are of high quality and that raise the profile of music. The artists are involved in mentoring and supporting young musicians and composers across Kent.


This year, outreach work includes 1400 primary school children from 16 schools partaking in a project focusing on Roald Dahl’s Revolting Rhymes as well as 480 children performing in four concerts alongside the festivals resident ensemble, Chamber Domaine, and narrator Matthew Sharp. Furthermore, in conjunction with Sound and Music, Go compose!, gives 10 young composers from Kent the opportunity to compose a piece of music that is performed and recorded in one day under the expert guidance of Simon Pearce (Royal College of Music and Purcell School) and Chamber Domaine. The festival also offers Meet the Composer events with composers such as Alexander Goehr and Paul Patterson, and mentoring workshops with the Artistic Director of Ronnie Scott’s, James Pearson.

Concerts will include Chamber Domaine performing Vaughan Williams’ Fantasia on a Theme by Thomas Tallis and Messiaen’s Quartet for the End of Time. Artists range from harpsichord player Steven Devine, violinist Thomas Bowes to guitarist Craig Ogden performing Bach, Dowland, Britten, and Albeniz. Flute player Sami Junnonen will perform music by Bach, Sciarrino, Debussy, Berio, Takemitsu, as well as the premiere of a new work by Tomi Räisänen.

Thomas Kemp, Artistic Director, says: ‘Our seventh festival promises to be our best yet with a wide range of music and lots of interesting programmes and opportunities for music lovers young and old. Contemporary music by Alexander Goehr and Paul Patterson rubs shoulders with works by Bach, Mozart, Elgar, Vaughan Williams and Gershwin as well as jazz, world, folk and vocal music across 24 events. I am particularly proud of our work with local schools –engaging young people in creative activities – many for the first time.’

(Written on July 17, 2017 )

Scriabin, who died 100 years ago this year, was the first composer to associate colours with music; he believed that there is an aesthetic connection between musical harmony and shades of colour. The Russian artist Wassily Kandinsky was inspired by Scriabin, amoung others including Wagner. Kandinsky wanted to create what Scriabin had for music, but for colours and feelings. Kandinsky, had his own colour theory to match colours with musical tones or instruments.

Composition VII by Wassily Kandinsky (1913)

Composition VII by Wassily Kandinsky (1913)

There is a possibility that Scriabin had Synaesthesia, a condition where a sensation in one of the senses, such as hearing, triggers a sensation in another, such as sight. In Scriabin, music triggered a vision of certain colours in a ‘union of his senses’. Each note corresponded to a specific colour: C-red, G-orange, D-yellow, A-green, E-sky blue, B-blue, F#-bright blue, C#-violet, G#-lilac, D#-flesh, A#-rose, F-deep red. However, some composers such as Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov, disagreed with Scriabin about which keys related to which colours. It is believed that Messiaen and Liszt were also synaesthete, although the condition isn’t common even in people with perfect pitch. 

A piano illustrating which colour corresponds to which key

A piano illustrating which colour (according to Scriabin) corresponds to which key

Scriabin was also deeply philosophical and mystical; he had visions of other worlds and he wished to transport his audiences to other realms through his music. He had planned a great piece, the Mysterium, which would be performed in a half temple in India. The spectacle would include a light show engulfing performers and audience members, who would sit across a pool of water. Incense and acrid smoke would be blown across the scene, costumed speakers reciting texts would parade with the dancers and Scriabin would sit at the piano surrounded by the orchestra. Scriabin died before the composition was complete, this dream was never realised.  He once boasted that only his music could express the inexpressible.

A few years before his death, Scriabin produced a colour keyboard with colour lamps, known as  a clavier à lumières. In the score for Prometheus: The Poem of Fire (1910), Scriabin described how his clavier à lumières should accompany the orchestra. The colour organ was to be played like a piano but instead of emitting sound, it projected coloured light onto a screen. The only performance using the color organ as Scriabin had envisioned, was in New York in 1915. This was the year that Scriabin died, of an untreated infection under his famed moustache. It seems that Scriabin had vast sources of inspiration and had he lived longer perhaps more of his dramatic, other- worldly dreams would have been realised. 

Scriabin performing in St. Petersburg in April 1915 (his last recital)

Scriabin performing in St. Petersburg in April 1915 (his last recital)

(Written on November 17, 2015 )

WildKat PR is delighted to introduce our latest client, Syzygy Quartet, who release their debut CD in November!

sq1Syzygy saxophone quartet was formed in 2009, after performing together at the World Saxophone Congress in Bangkok with the London Saxophone Ensemble, and the ensemble has blossomed ever since. Their debut performance was part of the Frontiers Festival, where they performed Louis Andriessen’s Facing Death. Since then, the quartet have performed in major concert venues such as St Martin-in-the-Fields, Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival, and National Portrait Gallery. Syzygy Quartet have also received an Emerging Excellence award from Help Musicians UK, who have supported them throughout their career.
sq2They specialise in contemporary classical music, and perform both established contemporary works and also new compositions written specifically for the ensemble. However, Syzygy Quartet’s repertoire extends beyond just contemporary compositions, with their upcoming concert in St Andrew’s Psalter Lane Church, Sheffield in March 2016 including works by Mozart, Beethoven, Messiaen and David Maslanka. Keep up to date with all their upcoming events here.

Having succeeded in being the only ensemble in Europe to be awarded the recording and performing rights for David Maslanka’s Song for the Coming Day, they have recently recorded this for their debut CD, which will be released on 13th November.

sq3Follow Syzygy Quartet on Facebook and Twitter, and check out their website to keep up to date with their latest news.

(Written on October 9, 2015 )

The Guardian

Rufus Wainwright: Why I love composer Olivier Messiaen

‘I listen to Messiaen’s work over and over – and once stole from him. But only one bar’


Tony Hall – BBC Arts launch

Speech given by Tony Hall, BBC Director-General, at the BBC Arts launch at New Broadcasting House on Tuesday 25 March 2014

The Independent

Why has Japan’s CD market suddenly gone into decline?

After years of defying Western trends, the drop is causing a big dent in global music sales

The New York Times

For Sale, Playing a Heady Tune

A Stradivari viola, possibly the most expensive musical instrument in the world, will go on sale this spring with an asking price of $45 million

UW Today

Stellar names in classical music part of collector’s gift to UW Music Library

A recent gift of 720 rare classical music scores with a total value of $1.3 million and including first editions or printings of music by Beethoven, Brahms, Handel, Tchaikovsky, Wagner, Haydn, Britten, Rossini, Verdi, Debussy, Gershwin and many more have been donated to the University of Washington Music Library.

Die Welt

Die kleine Dampframme am Dirigentenpult

Wer wird Nachfolger von Simon Rattle an der Spitze der Berliner Philharmoniker? Dritter Teil des Kandidatenchecks: Der Kanadier Yannick Nézet-Séguin gilt als wichtiger Außenseiter-Favorit.


Classical music on Twitter

New Music Biennal: Jez Colborne spoke with @Bradford_TandA about his #NewMusicBiennial commission ‘Gift’  @MtGstudios @PRSFoundation

Deutsche Grammophon: To celebrate the upcoming #Mozart tour, here is a new cartoon from @RolandoVillazon!

Classic FM: “The greatest viola in existence” is going to auction (and they’re expecting over $45 million)  #ClassicFMnews

Bachtrack: We are launching a poll to find the World’s Favourite Festival and we need your help! Head over to Bachtrack for info


The Independent



(Written on March 26, 2014 )

The Guardian

Tod Machover: how to crowdsource a symphony

Can music repair damaged tissue? Is it possible to hear it through another person’s ears? If anyone knows, it’s Tod Machover. As he prepares to create an innovative symphony for Edinburgh, Charlotte Higgins meets the music professor

The Guardian

Tine Thing Helseth, trumpet player interview: ‘I was a crazy Spice Girls fan

Norwegian trumpet virtuoso Tine Thing Helseth tells Adam Sweeting how she plays everything from Bach to the Beach Boys, and looks at the strange rituals of classical music with an inquiring eye.

The New York Times

A Challenge Grant From Weills to Spur Carnegie Hall Renovation

Carnegie Hall has received a $10 million challenge grant from its chairman, Sanford I. Weill, and his wife, Joan, and their Weill Family Foundation toward the completion of its $230 million renovation.

Classic FM

Mice play lullabies by Mozart, Brahms and Schubert

Lullabies by Mozart, Brahms and Schubert were performed by mice in a performance installation by the experimental musical duo Quiet Ensemble.

Music Week

IFPI slams EU piracy study as ‘flawed and misleading’

The IFPI has slammed the recent report from the European Commission’s Joint Research Centre which concluded that piracy has no effect on legal digital music purchases.

Classical Music Magazine

RSNO announces 2013/14 season

Britten’s War Requiem, Mahler’s Symphony No 8 and Messiaen’s Turangalîla-symphonie are among the musical monoliths that the Royal Scottish National Orchestra has announced for its ambitious 2013/14 season, its second with Peter Oundjian as music director.

New RSNO Music Director

Classical Music Magazine

(Written on March 21, 2013 )

The Telegraph

Coughing in classical concerts ‘twice as likely’

People are twice as likely to cough during a classical concert as they are during normal life, an academic researching the irritating phenomenon has claimed.

The New York Times

As Music Streaming Grows, Royalties Slow to a Trickle

Like plenty of music fans, Sam Broe jumped at the chance to join Spotify two summers ago, and he hasn’t looked back.

The Arts Desk

Q&A Special: Conductor Sir Simon Rattle

The conductor on his long-running association with period specialists the OAE

Classic FM

Gabriel Prokofiev’s Nonclassical announces electronic music festival

The Nonclassical club night and record label has announced a new festival of electronic music, celebrating composers like Messiaen, Stockhausen and Varèse.

Kasper Holten on Tchaikovsky in cinemas

Falling in love, rejection, growing up – and all to the soundtrack of Tchaikovsky’s beautiful music. Kasper Holten, Director of Opera for the Royal Opera House, explains what we can expect from his latest production of Eugene Onegin, screened live in cinemas on 20 February.

Classical Music Magazine

Analysis: Much ado about Rattle

Sir Simon Rattle’s announcement that he will leave in 2018 has provoked a storm of rumour and gossip, not least that he is leaving thanks to ‘growing strains’ in his relationship with the orchestra ‒ reported by news organisations from Santiago to Sydney.

Music Industry News Launches Social Network-Based Online Marketing For Artists, Producers, Managers, Songwriters, And Record Labels, a leading provider of online musician-for-hire collaboration services, is pleased to announce that it is now offering a variety of online marketing packages to artists, producers, managers, songwriters, and record labels.

Music Week

Midem attendance down 7% YoY, organisers remain upbeat about future

Midem attendance was down 7% compared to 2012 with the four-day event reporting around 6,400 attendees travelling to the Palais des Festivals last weekend.



The Telegraph

(Written on January 30, 2013 )

Tomorrow, the fourth annual International Wimbledon Music Festival opens with The Purcell Paegent at St John’s, Spencer Hill. The festival boasts ‘A World Music Fair’, with musicians and repertoire from around the globe. With a feast  of performances at venues across SW19, the festival promises to be the best yet.

Featuring works from Messiaen by the Nash Ensemble, the festival this week announced a second performance of Jessica Duchen’s much anticipated sold out play ‘A Walk Through The End of Time’, which describes how Messaien’s Quatour pour la Fin du Temps was composed and performed by him and three other prisoners in a German prisoner-of-war camp. Joining Henry Goodman and Harriet Walter in the play, is Anita Lasker-Wallfisch, who tells the extraordinary story of The Women’s Orchestra of Auschwitz. Another celebrated performance is the production of ‘Petrushka’, with Russian virtuoso Mikhail Rudy on the piano, alongside a cast of intricate puppets and ballet dancers from leading companies. Watch a preview of Petrushka here

Celebrating its global repute, another highlight of the International Wimbledon Music Festival is the newly comissioned piece by British composer Benjamin Wallfisch, which will receive its European premiere at the festival’s gala concert on November 24th. With close links to the Martinu Festival in Basel, Pro Musica Festival in El Paso, Texas, along with the Australian Festival of Chamber Music and the Sitka Summer Music Festival in Alaska, the Wimbledon festival is able to share the commission of works along with musicians, such as cellist Zuill Bailey, Artistic Director of both the El Paso Pro Musica and the Sitka Summer Music Festival, who with play alongside Artistic Director of the Australian Festival of Chamber Music in a celebrity cello recital on Friday 23rd November. 

The festival also recently announced that actor Benedict Cumberbatch will join oboist Nicholas Daniel to narrate a performance of Benjamin Britten’s Six Metamorphoses after Ovid on November 18th.

There will also be performances by Chinese guitarist Xuefei Yang, members of the London Philharmonic Orchestra, The Kopelman Quartet, Tenor Mark Padmore accompanied by Simon Lepper to perform Schubert’s ‘Swang Song’, along with works by Beethoven, Brazilian pianist Cristina Ortiz, and many more.

For more information on the festival, and to purchase tickets to any of the events, please visit their website: 


Image credit: Neil Muir

(Written on November 9, 2012 )


How An Opera House In France Is Turning Darkness Into Light.

Michael White on Lyon Opera.

Messiaen And His Birds: The Best Animal Species To Inspire Music?

Lucy Jones on the obsession and almost spiritual reverance in Messiaen that led to the creation of some of his greatest pieces of music.

A Book About Music That Strikes A Chord.

It’s not easy turning sonantas into sentences, but sharp writing can produce a magical spark, writes Jonathan Biss.

LA Times

Grant Gershon Named Resident Conductor Of LA Opera.

Grant Gershon will be expanding his duties at Los Angeles Opera when he takes on the position of resident conductor starting July 1, the company announced on Monday.

The Guardian

Bellini. I Just Don’t Get It, Norma Or No Norma…

I need help. What is there apart from empty rumty-tum, trivial jollity – well, and the odd good tune – in Bellini’s bel canto operas? Tom Service writes.

New Yorker

Seven Decades Of Desert Island Discs.

A celebration on the birthday of the Radio 4 castaway show.





(Written on January 31, 2012 )