Success at RPS Awards

Success at RPS Awards
This year’s RPS Award for Large Scale Composition has gone to Jonathan Harvey’s Messages, a haunting large-scale work for choir and orchestra. This adds to an extraordinary run of success for Faber Music composers in this category:
 
RPS Awards for Large Scale Compositions:
2011 Jonathan Harvey: Messages
 
In a ceremony at the Dorchester Hotel, the RPS judges praised Harvey’s work:
‘With Messages, Jonathan Harvey has created a work of exceptional epic and spiritual quality - a most welcome addition to the repertoire of both professional and amateur choirs. The choir's incantation of ancient angelic names is set within a sound world that is both profoundly rooted and ethereal, a compelling experience for audiences.’
 
Messages was first performed in 2008 by the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra and Rundfunkchor Berlin, who commissioned the piece alongside the Fundación Patronata de la Semana de Musica Religiosa de Cuenca. It received its UK premiere in 2011 with the Orchestra of Opera North, Huddersfield Choral Society and conductor Joseph Cullen. It was subsequently performed at the Barbican by the BBC Symphony Orchestra and Chorus under Martyn Brabbins  as part of the BBC’s Total Immersion Harvey festival. Its unusual text consists entirely of the names of Judaic and Persian angels. As Harvey writes: ‘The choir can be thought to invoke angels, as in the great Renaissance and Baroque pictures of angel choirs, many of whom not only sing, but play Baroque instruments.’
 
The piece expresses the spirituality so prevalent in Harvey’s work and provided an inspiration to the Berliner Philharmoniker to commission another choral/orchestral work: Weltethos – which is due for its British premiere on 21 June this year as part of the London Cultural Olympiad in Birmingham by the CBSO under Edward Gardner.