New CD information from Nimbus Alliance – “The Music of David Jephcott”
Artist(s): The Royal Liverpool Philharmonic/Clark Rundell (cond)
Composer: David Jephcott
Repertoire: A Different View – The Music of David Jephcott
Catalogue No: NI6140 
Discs: Single CD/Standard Case
UK PPD: £8.70
UK Release: 30/05/2011
Adagio for Strings; The Blue Nile; The Ludlow Air; Glencoe; The Egyptian Suite (The discovery of the tomb/Greed/The spirits awaken/ Retribution); The Prairie Whistler; The Refugees’ Lament; The Phantom’s Waltz; Plain Sailing.
Total Playing Time 64:46
David Jephcott began composing music as an antidote to the stresses of his commercial and academic life in the 1990s. He is entirely self-taught as both pianist and composer and uses modern music technology to produce beautiful melodies. He then collaborates with a hand picked team of skilled arrangers to produce the finished work as heard on this album.
A Fellow of the RSA, David’s primary field of expertise was technology and he was responsible for one of the most significant technological developments of the last century, the bead drive. This invention is currently being adapted for various industrial scenarios through the commercial world.
David’s music has been appreciated by audiences at performances throughout his native UK and further afield and his natural flair for producing unforgettable melodies is frequently remarked upon by audiences and critics.
A performance at the Edinburgh Fringe in 2004 by pianist Robin Hutt, “Big Chopin and Little Jephcott” in which he interleaved works by the two composers, was well received by both audiences and critics. Also in 2004 the internationally renowned Fron Male Voice Choir performed “When I am called to Thee” a hymn for which David created both music and the words; two of David’s other choral compositions were performed at a Classic FM Christmas concert in Liverpool’s Anglican Cathedral in 2002 and his piano music features frequently in recital programmes.
Born in Staffordshire in 1949, David lives in Shropshire with his wife Ann and close to his two daughters and grandson. Ann, who enjoys Egyptology, assisted David in the creation of the Egyptian Suite.
Repertoire & Product Information
The rich string textures and melodic invention in the music of Sir Edward Elgar has been a constant source of inspiration. “Adagio for Strings” casts a nostalgic, backward glance to the turn of the 20th century, conjuring that atmosphere of calm which belongs to an era far less frantic than our own.
“The Blue Nile” was inspired by Egypt’s great river, its ebbs and flows as it journeys to the sea. The lush orchestral textures and gentle countermelodies support the singing of a simple flute melody.
The glory of the county of Shropshire is crowned by the stunningly beautiful town of Ludlow. “The Ludlow Air” is dedicated to this ancient town, enclosed by the serene beauty of the river Teme and with its medieval castle at the centre. This is an orchestral arrangement of the original piano work and the expanded treatment it receives here has emphasized the folk like qualities of the Airs main melodies.
“Glencoe” is a Celtic Fantasy for orchestra, inspired by a trip to the magnificent Alnwick Castle in Northumberland draws heavily on the traditional folk music idioms which have always been strong influences on David’s music. A lively introduction is followed by a haunting melody for the strings, (accompanied by elegant woodwind figurations) which is briefly interrupted by a swirling syncopated harp solo before the theme returns for a final flourish.
“The Egyptian Suite” is a four movement suite depicting the serendipitous discovery of a Pharaoh’s tomb by a small group of desert nomads. Following a fierce sandstorm the nomads come upon the opening of the tomb which has been left exposed.
“The Prairie Whistler”, with its Ennio Morricone ‘spaghetti western’ character, draws its inspiration, as does much of David’s music, from visual imagery. During the development of the piece several solo instruments were tried but it was not until it was performed by a whistler, with his unique human quality, that David knew that he had found the right mood setting “solo voice”.
“The Refugees Lament” was written as a direct response to a documentary on the displacement of civilians during the Balkan conflict, but it equally represents David’s feeling for the suffering of all displaced persons across the vastness of time. It was originally conceived as a piece for solo cello with the accompaniment of a chorus of men’s’ voices. In the version recorded here RLPO principal cellist Jonathan Aasgaard is accompanied by the lower strings of the orchestra plus percussion.
“The Phantoms’ Waltz” is an excerpt from a ballet score. It precedes the moment when the Gods attempt to reunite two spirit beings who were former lovers. On the eve of their wedding anniversary they are given the opportunity to forgive the infidelity which drove them apart or to spend eternity alone. This waltz depicts the tentative nature of their dance together as they meet in a forest glade.
“Plain Sailing” is a seascape depicts the exhilaration and the perils of being on the high seas. It begins with an excited crew at dawn on the day of departure as they prepare to embark on their immense voyage followed by the sounds of the ship as it moves into the open seas. Hints of well known shanties e.g. The Leaving of Liverpool conjure up images of the sailors working together before the ship is engulfed in a terrifying storm. The romance of the high seas and the beauty of the tall ships in full sail is depicted by a piano theme which symbolizes, in the mind of the composer, the crashing of the ship through the waves set against the languid calm of tropical waters suggested by the strings. Plain Sailing honours the bravery of the mariners from the days of sail and of those who throughout the world, continue to work the dangerous seas today.
Originally available on a label created to bring this music to market and manufactured on a short-run, it is now released via Nimbus Alliance, and will benefit from world-wide distribution bringing far greater availability in all markets.
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 (September – June) in its home, Liverpool Philharmonic Hall, as well as concerts in venues across the city, including Liverpool’s two cathedrals. The 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.
The Orchestra tours regularly throughout the UK and world-wide and has an extensive discography featuring many critically acclaimed recordings.
Clark Rundell is Director of Contemporary Music and Head of Conducting at the Royal Northern College of Music, Manchester, and Artistic Director of the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic’s contemporary music group, Ensemble 10/10.
He studied at Northwestern University, Chicago, USA. He regularly conducts the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, with whom he made his debut in 1987, as well as the BBC Philharmonic, Northern Sinfonia, BBC Concert Orchestra, Hallé Orchestra and the Philharmonia Orchestra, with whom he recently performed at the Royal Albert Hall. In September 2005 he conducted the Residentie Orchestra in The Hague in a programme which included the world premiere of the suite he made in collaboration with Louis Andriessen of the composer’s recent opera Writing to Vermeer. Clark also worked with Mark-Anthony Turnage on an expanded version of Turnage’s Invention on Solitude and recently collaborated with Dutch Latin jazz group Zuco 103 on a joint concert with the Residentie Orchestra.
Deeply committed to the performance of new music, Clark has given world premières of works by composers such as Louis Andriessen, Elizabeth Barratt, Django Bates, David Bedford, Sir Richard Rodney Bennett, Derek Bermel, Judith Bingham, Gerard Brophy, Alan Bush, Martin Butler, Gary Carpenter, Ian Gardiner, Tim Garland, Adam Gorb, Sam Hayden, Kenneth Hesketh, David Horne, Julian Joseph, Gyumah Labi, Steve Mackey, Roger Marsh, Steven Pratt and Mark-Anthony Turnage, in addition to dozens of British premieres.
A highly versatile musician, Clark served for fourteen years as Director of Jazz Studies at the Royal Northern College of Music, and has performed with artists such as John Dankworth, Bob Brookmeyer, Victor Mendoza, Guy Barker, Julian Argüelles, Ed Thigpen, Cleo Laine, Andy Sheppard, Lew Tabakin and Michael Gibbs.
David Morris is a professional whistling artist. He performs as a soloist with orchestra, concert and brass band and has won the title of World Whistling Champion at the global event in the USA.
The CD will be fully serviced to all UK classical music press and radio. Both artists are available for interview if required. Advertising will include major classical music magazines and publications.
For more details, and to request a review sample, please contact John Cronin at Music & Media Consulting Limited.
David Jephcott is available for interview. A CD of his piano music is scheduled for release by Nimbus Alliance in the Autumn of 2011.
The full Nimbus/Nimbus Alliance catalogue can be viewed at www.wyastone.co.uk