New CD/Download from Nimbus Alliance featuring works of Richard Blackford
Together with Nimbus Alliance Records and Nimbus Music Publishing, composer Richard Blackford is very pleased to announce the release of a disc (also available as a download) of some of his recent instrumental pieces. Presented in chronological order of composition are his Violin Concerto (2007) – performed by Maria Gajdosova with the Brno Philharmonic conducted by Richard
Blackford; Clarinet Quintet (2009) performed by David Campbell (clarinet) with The Solstice String Quartet; The Better Angels of our Nature (2013) performed by Emily Pailthorpe with BBC Symphony Orchestra conducted by Martyn Brabbins [also available on Champs Hill CHRCD116 released in August 2016 to much critical acclaim]; Goodfellow (2015) performed by Daniel Pailthorpe (flute), Emily Pailthorpe (oboe) and Julian Milford (piano).
Violin Concerto finds its origin in a Violin Sonata written when Richard was just eighteen years of age. In 2007 Richard was invited to compose a neo-Classical Violin Concerto by the Brno Philharmonic for its gifted leader Maria Gajdosova. Composed in just five weeks, Blackford reworked his original sonata into this 25-minute concerto. It received a rapturous reaction, and the orchestra decided to record the piece, conducted by Richard himself.
Track 1: Allegro non troppo; Track 2: Andante; Track 3: Vivace
Clarinet Quintet received its premiere at the Aberystwyth Musicfest. Richard was inspired to write the piece by a semi-autobiographical novel “Full Moon” by Caradog Pritchard. It describes the childhood of a young boy growing up in North Wales, during and shortly after WW1. The Boy’s imagination is fed by both Chapel and local legends. His mother is declared insane and placed in an asylum and the Boy loses his mind with grief and the novel ends with his murder of a childhood sweetheart on the shores of the Black Lake. This darkly chromatic quintet is in three movements.
Track4: Lento – Molto Vivace; Track 5: Andante; Track 6: Furioso
The Better Angels of Our Nature was commissioned by Howarth of London for Emily Pailthorpe and premiered by her in 2012. Pailthorpe played the UK premiere of the concerto with the BBC SO in 2015, with a further performance given – again by Emily – at the Presteigne Festival on 30th August 2016.
The inspirational plea for reconciliation from Abraham Lincoln’s first inaugural address on March 4th 1861 was Richard Blackford’s starting point for a fifteen-minute concerto for oboe and strings for the virtuoso oboist, Emily Pailthorpe, to whom the work is dedicated. It is divided into two continuous movements, separated by Taps, the bugle call which is played traditionally for funerals or at sunset.
“We are not enemies, but friends. We must not be enemies. Though passion may have strained, it must not break our bonds of affection. The mystic chords of memory will swell when again touched, as surely they will be, by the better angels of our nature.”
Track 7: The Better Angels of our Nature
Goodfellow was written for three members of the Conchord Ensemble, a piece for flute, oboe and piano. Robin Goodfellow (aka Puck) appears in numerous literary manifestations and legends, but it is the Puck of “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” that caught Blackford’s imagination, and the two movements of this trio explore his mischievous, unpredictable personality and the interactions with the Athenian lovers and fairy queen Titania.
Track 8: Allegro con brio – Adagio; Track 9: Adagio – Allegro molto
The scores for two of the pieces on this release are available from Nimbus Music Publishing (all enquiries to email@example.com )
The Better Angels of our Nature NMP1005/ISMN 979-0-708129-04-2
Goodfellow (for flute, oboe & piano) NMP1017/ISMN 979-0-708129-26-4
Marketing and Promotion
The CD will be advertised in both BBC Music Magazine and Gramophone.
Physical review copies of the CD will not be distributed, but the audio files and CD booklet can be downloaded from:
Interviews with Richard Blackford are easily arranged – as are those with many of the performers featured on this release. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org