Faber Music are delighted that two of its composers, Thomas Adès and Simon Dobson, have both been shortlisted for the 2014 British Composer Awards. The British Academy of Songwriters, Composers and Authors (BASCA) have today announced the 35 works shortlisted for the awards. Thomas Adès is nominated in the vocal category for Totentanz and Simon Dobson is nominated in the wind band and brass band category for Journey of the Lone Wolf.
The winners will be unveiled at a ceremony at Goldsmiths’ Hall, London on Tuesday 2 December 2014. BBC Radio 3 will broadcast the awards on Hear and Now at 10.00pm on Saturday 6 December, with the chance to hear many of the shortlisted pieces from approx. 9.30-10pm, Monday 24 to Friday 28 November.
To see the full shortlist, please follow the link http://www.britishcomposerawards.com/shortlist.php
Totentanz, Thomas Adès
Bringing together baritone, mezzo-soprano and a (very) large orchestra, Totentanz is Adès’ longest composition for the concert hall to date. Reuniting Adès with baritone Simon Keenlyside (who created the role of Prospero in The Tempest), Totentanz is the culmination of Adès’ long fascination with dances of death, previously documented in the tango mortale from Arcadiana (1994), the drug-fuelled dance music of Asyla (1997) and the devilish cancan macabre which closes Lieux Retrouvés (2009). Musically it breaks new ground, with seemingly chaotic uncoordinated rhythmic passages perhaps paying homage to the work’s dedicatee Witold Lutosławski.
Whilst the work’s vast scale, audacious drama and totally distinctive sound world all made a powerful impact, it was its intimate closing passages, where death meets a new-born child, which ultimately made the strongest impression on audiences. The Guardian’s Andrew Clements described this conclusion as containing ‘Adès' most frankly expressive music to date’ whilst for Alexandra Coughlan it was ‘a coup de théâtre that reverses expectations, not piercing onwards to the bone beneath the skin but retreating to the fleshy fantasy of human life’.
Journey of the Lone Wolf, Simon Dobson
Journey of the Lone Wolf tells the story of Hungarian composer Béla Bartók. It was commissioned by Dr. Nicholas Childs for Black Dyke Band, who gave the first performance on Sunday 26 January 2014 at the Bridgewater Hall, Manchester as part of the Royal Northern College of Music Festival of Brass. A suite for brass band in 3 movements, it has subsequently been selected as the set work for the Dutch National Brass Band Championships in November 2014.