Thursday 23 March 2023 7:30pm Liverpool Philharmonic Hall
Mozart Symphony No.31, 'Paris' (16')
Gavin Bryars Harpsichord Concerto (world-premiere: co-commission with Orchestre National de Lyon) (27')
- INTERVAL - (20')
Sibelius Symphony No.1 (38')
Andrew Manze conductor
Mahan Esfahani harpsichord
Music transports you. Tonight, Andrew Manze flies us to the forests of Finland, where the colours of the aurora borealis flicker through Sibelius’ tempestuous First Symphony. He then drops by on 18th-century Paris, where a bright young thing called Mozart is making quite a splash. And, together with Mahan Esfahani – musical explorer, and harpsichordist without limits – he creates a whole new world: the fantastic new concerto by British counter-culture icon, Gavin Bryars.
In memory of Maurice Henry GeorgeHarpsichord Concerto Performance note from Gavin Bryars:
The harpsichord solo part for the concerto is to be played within the spirit of much of the music for the baroque harpsichord. I have deliberately limited the amount of ornamentation written by myself in order that the performer can add it freely in an imaginative or improvisatory way. This can be as austere or as florid as the player wishes.
I compare approach this to Toru’s Mist within which I wrote for a Japanese master shakuhachi player, where I decided against telling him when he should use traditional techniques like the breathing vibrato, using different embouchures and tone colours, or extreme portamento within a melodic line, believing that it would be arrogant of me to impose my own limited awareness on what he had achieved through a lifetime’s experience.
Before and during the writing of this concerto, I studied Mahan Esfahani’s many Bach recordings as well as music by other composers of the period. I also enjoy immensely the life and almost wilful freshness that he brings to his performances of After Handel’s Vesper, my work for solo harpsichord. Mahan is also a ‘master’ in the same sense as the shakuhachi player…
Billesdon, March 2023
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