The 2022 BBC Proms season plays host to a range of Faber Music composers this summer at London’s Royal Albert Hall.
On 26 August Pekka Kuusisto gives the UK premiere of Thomas Adès’ 2020 Märchentänze, a 13-minute suite for violin and orchestra inspired by British folk songs, wheeling skylarks, and dance tunes. Describing the piece in the Guardian, Adès said of the four-movement piece,
The first movement is a fantasy on the folk song Two Magicians, immortalised by Steeleye Span, about the immemorial generative dance of the sexes. A hushed movement follows, the chant-like tune presented as a round. The third movement, A Skylark for Jane, is an outpouring of birdsong, each individual orchestra member freely echoing the soloist to create an “exaltation” of skylarks. The final dance begins with an energetic elfin theme and grows into a writhing dance. Many themes grapple, twining around each other like otters, towards a decisive conclusion.
Later in the festival on 6 September the Royal Scottish National Orchestra open their concert with the ‘Three-Piece Suite’ from Powder Her Face, a 12-minute showcase of music from Adès’ 1995 operatic debut, conducted by Thomas Søndergård.
On 6 August The National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain visit the Proms as part of their world premiere tour of Danny Elfman’s 21-minute three-movement commissioned showpiece Wunderkammer, conducted by Andrew Gourlay. “When I first met the NYOGB and heard them play I was so impressed”, Elfman writes of the piece, “I immediately knew that I had to write something for them…I could sense that they were quite game for something wild and difficult.”
Jessica Curry’s music will appear in Prom 21 on 1 August, ‘From 8-bit to infinity’, which spotlights the work of videogame composers. Dear Esther – I Have Begun My Ascent/So Let Us Melt from the 2012 first-person exploration and adventure title Dear Esther will be performed by the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, conducted by Robert Ames. It appears in a new orchestration, expanded from the original version of the score for piano quartet and voice, which toured to sold out venues as part of a live walkthrough of the game in 2016. This new version also incorporates music from her soundtrack to the 2017 science fiction fairy-tale game So Let Us Melt.
Composer and arranger Simon Parkin will feature twice in the iconic Last Night of the Proms celebrations with two arrangements for superstar cellist Sheku Kanneh-Mason. He performs a version of Deep River by Samuel Coleridge-Taylor, scored for cello, harp and string orchestra, and Karl Davydov’s At the Fountain, which Parkin has orchestrated for ‘cello, strings and percussion. Parkin has collaborated on several arrangements in The Sheku Kanneh-Mason Cello Collection published by Faber Music, as well as several on the cellist’s 2020 Elgar album.