Nigel Hess’ exuberant 'A Celebration Overture’ was premiered as part of Classic FM Live at the Royal Albert Hall, London. The 6-minute orchestral work was commissioned by the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra with the support of The Rushworth Foundation, to celebrate their 175th anniversary. Conducted by the orchestra’s chief conductor Vasily Petrenko, the high-spirited work was a highlight of the sold-out concert, which was later aired on Classic FM.
The composer writes of the piece:
‘I was delighted when the RLPO asked me to create a piece to celebrate their 175th anniversary with, as they requested, "some good tunes". I hope A Celebration Overture does just that, with its party atmosphere and exuberant playing in all the orchestral departments. The horn section is the first to introduce the "celebration" tune which is immediately picked up by the rest of the orchestra, and when the percussion join in with bongos and cabasa, the party has definitely started. Woodwind and solo strings introduce another optimistic theme which the brass section try to commandeer as their own before the opening material is revisited. A solo oboe introduces yet another tune - more plaintive and thoughtful - which is picked up by a flute and violin, but it is shortlived as the horns invite us back to the celebrations which gather apace to a breathless finale. Happy Birthday, RLPO!’ - Nigel Hess
He’s interviewed about it, by Classic FM’s Jane Jones, here.
A Celebration Overture is now available for performance and would make an ideal opener for holiday and pops programmes. Perusal score and recording available upon request and the full score can also be viewed online.