Huw conducts the Australian Premiere of Glass’s 2000 Chamber Opera, In the Penal Colony. Details here
Posts from the ‘Events’ Category
A new choral piece by Huw entitled Porta Coeli was premiered on Tuesday the 18th of August at Westminster Abbey as the anthem during 5.00pm Evensong by the Hellenic Singers. The piece is based on the writing of Alcuin of York. It carries the following text and program note:
Latin Text – Alcuin of York (c.735 – 804)
Haec porta est coeli, aeternae haec est janua vitae,
Ista viatorem ducit ad astra suum.
Haec est sancta domus, pacis locus, aula salutis,
Quam super hic semper maneat benedictio Christi.
This is the gate of Heaven, this is the door of eternal life.
It leads its pilgrim to the stars.
This is the holy house, the place of peace, the hall of salvation,
For over it rests forever the blessing of Christ.
About Porta Coeli
Porta Coeli’s canonic opening and broad phrases are inspired by the ageless majesty of sacred space. In order to pursue timelessness; to seek a present communion with ancient building and former brethren; the piece borrows from the material and formal devices of the choral past. Simultaneously, it incorporates musical techniques of today. In evoking the ‘gate of heaven’ Porta Coeli heralds the past, the present, heaven and earth.
As part of the Ossian Ensemble’s Carnival of the Animals concert, Virtual Pets by Huw Belling formed part of a new set of ‘problematized animals’ in pieces written especially for the concert by a variety of composers including such pets as The Serpant, Lab Rats and The Dodo. The updated suite was performed with new narration by Neil Georgeson on Wednesday the 8th of July.
The piece carries the following program note:
Virtual pets is a mockery of the insipid electronica of virtual pets. Fun on the surface, but unhalting and eerily unsettled, things go awry as unnatural imperfections disrupt the simulacra. These errata compound and amplify until the ‘pet’ jitters towards an epileptic halt; e-blivion. Replace batteries.
Huw Belling’s miniature tribute to Henry Purcell written for the Ossian Ensemble was be premiered at the Royal College of Music at the Junior Fellow’s Evening on the 6th of July. Michael Parkinson, one of the guests at the evening, said the piece made him laugh “in all the right places”.
The piece, which was composed atop the Grave of Purcell himself, carries the program note:
Deriving its principle musical material from Henry Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas, this miniature titled Destruction’s Our Delight after a chorus in the opera pays tribute to Purcell. Its music exaggerates elements of baroque compositional technique and performance practice by bloating Purcell’s best known musical material. Ornamentations are distended, ground-bass nauseatingly repeated and accelerated, dots tripled and quadrupled, and chromatic motions are compressed into pallid glissandi. Performances should attempt to reflect the piece’s humorous extreme-baroque character.
On Thursday the 25th of June, Videntes Stellam will be sung again as the introit at evensong (5.00pm) at Westminster Abbey as part of an ‘Australian Evensong’ alongisde music by Australian Composers, Drury, Bainton and Sculthorpe. The evensong is part of the 2009 G’Day UK events.
The Mountain and the Sea the memorial anthem commissioned by the Dean and Chapter of Westminster Abbey for ANZAC Day 2008, is to be performed again at New Zealand’s National War Memorial at 10:30 am, April 25th 2009 by the Wellington Cathedral Choir conducted by Michael Fulcher.
The specially written text of the Anthem is by New Zealander Dr. Richard Major, and it is set by Huw for a capella choir and tenor solo. The ninety minute ceremony at the War Memorial will be attended by the New Zealand Prime Minister, the Hon. John Key and other dignitaries and will be broadcast live on New Zealand television station TVNZ.
Huw Belling’s Piece Blumenduft (Floral Scent) was premiered in a concert today at the National Portrait Gallery in London. The Taylor Wessing Photographic prize combined with the Gallery’s ongoing concerts initiative to request pieces from composers who chose photographs from the exhibition. The piece for solo Oboe was performed by Scottish Oboist Helen Fraser, and accompanied the photograph below (courtesy of the Portrait Gallery Website).
Blumenduft translates from German as ‘floral scent’. As the piece unfolds, the emphatic repetition of phrases in slightly different iterations permeates the consciousness like a sweetly wafting scent. But the piece is not all innocence. There is a subcutaneous strain of uncertainty; broken phrases betray a certain doubt; a distrust of the senses.