Author Topic: Sorabji's Sandcastle  (Read 15711 times)

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Offline ahinton

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Re: Sorabji's Sandcastle
« Reply #80 on: March 08, 2017, 03:52:35 AM »
SORABJI: NEW FILM DOCUMENTARY AND PERFORMANCES

Organist Kevin Bowyer recently gave the US première of Sorabji’s Organ Symphony No. 2 in University of Iowa where he had been invited to inaugurate its concert hall’s new Klais organ following a disastrous flood in 2008 that destroyed the venue and its previous organ. Kevin’s performance of this massive three movement work, more than eight hours in duration, was received with great enthusiasm.

Kevin devoted thousands of hours over many years to the preparation of the world première that he gave in Glasgow, Scotland, in 2010. He has since created magnificent typeset critical editions of all three Sorabji organ symphonies, of which copies are available from The Sorabji Archive (see www.sorabji-archive.co.uk ), along with all of Sorabji’s other scores and literary writings,.

A crowd-funded film documentary about the organ symphonies project, with especial reference to the second symphony, is being made in Iowa, of which details and a link may be found on the Sorabji Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/KaikhosruShapurjiSorabji/posts/983423815092737?comment_id=986688958099556 ; to quote:
"A remarkable story rich with cinematic potential: the deluge of 2008, the effort to rebuild, the musical palace that rose forth, the remarkable organ placed at its heart, the magician (Kevin Bowyer) called upon to give it life, and the 8 1/2 hour Sorabjian incantation.

Please consider making a contribution to help assist in the funding effort to produce this film:

Sorabji in Iowa: A documentary

Help GOLDrush raise $8,000 for the project: Sorabji in Iowa: A documentary. Your gift will make a difference!"

The link to donate is goldrush.uiowa.edu . So far, almost 50% of the required sum has been raised, so yes, do please give generously towards this historic project!




Pianist Jonathan Powell will be touring what is still Sorabji’s most famous work, Opus Clavicembalisticum, this year. To date, six performances have been confirmed, as follows:

050517 Brighton, UK:              St. Michael’s Church

090517 London, UK:                Rosslyn Hill Chapel

130517 Oxford, UK:                 Jacqueline du Pré Music Building                                                                 

011017 Karlsruhe, Germany:   Musentempel

061017 Glasgow, Scotland:   Concert Hall, University of Glasgow

251017 Brno, Czechia:      Concert hall JAMU (Janáček Academy)

Other dates and venues are in the pipeline.

This seminal work will never have received so many performances within a single year!

Offline ahinton

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Re: Sorabji's Sandcastle
« Reply #81 on: May 18, 2017, 12:52:48 AM »
Last Saturday, 13 May, at Oxford's Jacqueline du Pré Music Building, Jonathan Powell gave what was probably the finest performance that Sorabji's monumental Opus Clavicembalisticum has ever received. It was only its 17th performance since the composer's own world première in Glasgow in 1930.

After an unsettled and rather rushed brief opening Introito, the ensuing Preludio Corale occasionally exhibited similar issues but, once Jonathan launched into the first of the four fugues in the work, he was on top form and remained there throughout. There were some devastating moments of fulminating virtuosity alongside the most sensitively shaped phrasing in the fugues whose essential bel canto qualities he brought to the fore and without which they can risk sounding rather like rigorous intellectual exercises. The reticence and pervasive stillness of the mesmerising Adagio that comes around two-thirds of the way through the work was another high point. Jonathan held the audience's rapt attention throughout its near 4½ hours, a not inconsiderable feat in itself; the audience response and glowing comments after it testify to the great success of his achievement.

The page turner was also excellent!

Jonathan had given two performances of the work in the previous 8 days and has at least four more this year, in Karlsruhe, Glasgow, Brno and Tianjin. It is fair to say that the piece has never had so much exposure.

Offline ahinton

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Re: Sorabji's Sandcastle
« Reply #82 on: May 18, 2017, 01:27:59 AM »
That made me really happy to hear about! Sorabji in general and Opus Clavicembalisticum are important to me, it is exciting to see works such as this getting some more wider exposure. Thanks for letting us know Ahinton  :D

Also I've been reading Paul Rapoport's book "A Critical Celebration", which provides quite a good overview of Sorabji's life. Have you read it? (I would presume) and if you have, what do you think?  8)
Have I read it? I contributed two chapters as well as various research material to it!

Although it doesn't displace what remains a most valuable source of information, Marc-André Roberge's Opus Sorabjianum, first published in 2013, reveals the benefit of much research undertaken since publication of Paul Rapoport's book in 1992; it's available for free online at http://www.mus.ulaval.ca/roberge/srs/07-prese.htm (where you'll find download instructions) and is updated from time to time. If you've enjoyed reading the Rapoport (to which Roberge also contributed), you' be sure to enjoy reading this!

Offline Dax

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Re: Sorabji's Sandcastle
« Reply #83 on: May 18, 2017, 06:03:36 AM »
Last Saturday, 13 May, at Oxford's Jacqueline du Pré Music Building, Jonathan Powell gave what was probably the finest performance that Sorabji's monumental Opus Clavicembalisticum has ever received. It was only its 17th performance since the composer's own world première in Glasgow in 1930.

After an unsettled and rather rushed brief opening Introito, the ensuing Preludio Corale occasionally exhibited similar issues but, once Jonathan launched into the first of the four fugues in the work, he was on top form and remained there throughout. There were some devastating moments of fulminating virtuosity alongside the most sensitively shaped phrasing in the fugues whose essential bel canto qualities he brought to the fore and without which they can risk sounding rather like rigorous intellectual exercises. The reticence and pervasive stillness of the mesmerising Adagio that comes around two-thirds of the way through the work was another high point. Jonathan held the audience's rapt attention throughout its near 4½ hours, a not inconsiderable feat in itself; the audience response and glowing comments after it testify to the great success of his achievement.

The page turner was also excellent!

Jonathan had given two performances of the work in the previous 8 days and has at least four more this year, in Karlsruhe, Glasgow, Brno and Tianjin. It is fair to say that the piece has never had so much exposure.
I attended the Oxford performance also and mighty impressive it was too.
As before, Jonathan put a great deal of effort making the fugues sound persuasive, particularly successfully with regard to the last one. The opening was certainly fast, approaching Yonty Solomon tempo - I rather like that approach. Also memorable was the Fantasia - which had never particularly struck me before. Most memorable of all was the brief Quasi Tambura section in the Passacaglia which featured an unusual and most extraordinary piano sound.

Not only was the page turner excellent, but he stood for the whole performance!