Oliver Knussen's ‘Two Organa’ at the Proms in 2010

Oliver Knussen's ‘Two Organa’ at the Proms in 2010
The Birmingham Contemporary Music Group staged a late-night appearance at the BBC Proms on 6 August, conducted by Ilan Volkov, in a concert which framed Oliver Knussen’s Two Organa and Benjamin’s Three Inventions, with new works by Luke Bedford and Hans Abrahamsen.  Knussen’s Two Organa was earmarked in a Guardian article a week earlier by ultimate fan Adam Foulds, as a work which gave him instant joy.

 
‘There aren’t many ways you can be sure to make yourself feel happy, but there’s one that always seem to work for me. I listen to a piece of music, only a minute and a half long, that was originally written for a music box and then orchestrated. Its unwinding tune is immediately memorable. It is so shimmeringly coloured, so precisely made, so assured in the delivery of its climax that it always leaves my mood effervescent. It is called Two Organa and Oliver Knussen, who wrote it, is one of Britain’s greatest living artists… His music is instantly likeable, elegant, melancholy and exhilarating.

…He writes his jewel-like scores carefully, with great technical rigour, but there remains at the heart of his music an unanxious playfulness. His works are often set in the childhood worlds of toys and storybooks and in that familiar, phantasmal place between waking and sleeping. He is a conductor famed for his perfectionism and generosity, a rare combination … He has added beauty to the world.’
The Guardian (Adam Foulds), 24 July 2010