MacMillan: The Confession ofIsobel Gowdie - Adès: Chamber Symphony No. 2 - Higdon: Percussion Concerto

MacMillan: The Confession ofIsobel Gowdie - Adès: Chamber Symphony No. 2 - Higdon: Percussion Concerto

London Philharmonic Orchestra, Marin Alsop, Colin Currie

Editor's Choice

It's hard to imagine a time when London wasn't bursting with high-quality professional orchestras, but in the early 1930s, its musical landscape was very different to the one enjoyed by today's fans. The London Philharmonic Orchestra was founded to raise the standard of British orchestral playing to the level of those in continental Europe and the USA. Founded by legendary conductors Malcolm Sargeant and Thomas Beecham, the LPO approaches its centenary with a rich and exciting history, enormous discography, and solid reputation as one of the United Kingdom's finest orchestras. Beyond its core repertoire of the standard symphony and concerto performances, the LPO enjoys a long association with the annual summer opera festival at Glyndebourne, has recorded extensively for all the major labels and runs an engaging education and community programme. Its adventurous spirit is evident in its encouragement of fresh talent and new music, through its Future Firsts and Young Composer Schemes. Its no surprise, then, that its in-house record label produced this important album of three works by contemporary composers. Thomas Adès, who has also appeared as a conductor with the orchestra, composed his Chamber Symphony in 1990 while still a student at Cambridge. James MacMillan's orchestral requiem for a persecuted Scottish woman dates from the same period. Jennifer Higdon's 2005 Percussion Concerto is the real star of this album, however. Performed by Colin Currie and presided over by Marin Alsop, this interpretation netted Higdon a Grammy Award for Best Contemporary Classical Composition in 2009. read more

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