‘Other Presences’ - the BBC Singers sing the music of Jonathan Harvey

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Whilst Jonathan Harvey was a composer who always embraced and sought-out the very latest in musical technologies, the simplicity of the a cappella choir became something of a constant to which he returned throughout his life. On 23 September the BBC Singers will present a concert at LSO St Luke's surveying the whole breadth of this choral output, from the rapt simplicity of his anthem I Love the Lord to the exotic and elaborate textures of Forms of Emptiness and How could the soul not take flight, the latter works finding an inspired pairing in Britten’s virtuosic cantata A.M.D.G.

Conducted by Martyn Brabbins, who oversaw many Harvey premieres, including that of his last opera Wagner Dream, the concert also includes the iconic Mortuos Plango, Vivos Voco alongside a performance of Harvey’s Other Presences by trumpeter Marco Blaauw. Composed for Markus Stockhausen in 2006, this radiant 10-minute work for solo instrument and electronics was the result of a commission from the Cheltenham Festival. In it, trumpet melodies – inspired by Tibetan open-air ceremonial music which Harvey witnessed on a visit to monasteries at and near Rajpur – are looped and harmonised in real time, giving the impression, in the composer’s words, that ‘the trumpet is multiplied and becomes present invisibly at other points in space.’

 

Full details of this concert by the BBC Singers can be found here