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Edward Gregson is one of Britain’s most versatile composers, whose music has been performed, broadcast and recorded worldwide. This is the third volume in Gregson’s series of concerto recordings for Chandos, of which International Record Review said: ‘He [Gregson] speaks to a large audience, without sacrificing integrity. With superb performances and sound... this is a release of vital, attractive and immensely likeable music’ (CHAN10105).
Gregson’s life-long fascination with the concerto form began early but having been brought up in a Salvationist family it was inevitable that the brilliant sound of the British brass band should play an important role in the early years of his composing career. This led to a parallel universe of musical experiences. ‘On the one hand I was playing music by some fine brass band composers and on the other being absorbed in the music of Bartók, Prokofiev, Hindemith, Webern, Stravinsky, Shostakovich, Tippett and others.’ This musical landscape greatly influences his compositional style to this day.
One of the key works on this release is the Concerto for Trombone and Orchestra. The solo part is here performed by trombonist Peter Moore, who at 12 years old was the youngest contestant ever to win BBC’s Young Musician of the Year in 2008. Gregson describes the writing for the soloist as ‘virtuosic, encompassing the whole range of the instrument [trombone], but it also exploits the rather beautiful lyrical sound of which the instrument is capable.’
Gregson’s most recent commission - A Song for Chris, a concerto for cello and chamber orchestra for Manchester Camerata - was premiered at the 2007 Royal Northern College of Music International Cello Festival. Here, the solo part is played by cellist Guy Johnston who was voted BBC’s Young Musician of the Year in 2000, and went on to receive numerous awards including the BRIT award for Best British Newcomer, the SHELL / LSO Gerald MacDonald Prize and the Musiciens Bénévoles Fund Award. Since making an extraordinary debut at the BBC Proms performing Elgar’s Cello Concerto with the BBC Symphony Orchestra under Leonard Slatkin, he has become a fast-rising star on the international stage and enjoyed successes with major symphony orchestras across Europe and in Japan.
Edward Gregson: Music for Chamber Orchestra
I. Lento maestoso - Doppio movimento - L'istesso tempo (tranquillo) - Poco meno mosso
II. Allegro scherzando - Poco meno mosso - Tempo I
III. Adagio mesto e sostenuto - Poco piu mosso - Tempo I
IV. Allegro vivace
Edward Gregson: Trombone Concerto
Edward Gregson: 2 Pictures for String Orchestra
No. 1. Goddess
No. 2. Stepping Out
Edward Gregson: A Song for Chris
I. Meditation: SLow and thoughtful - A little faster
II. Intermezzo: Not too fast, menacing
III. Toccata-Scherzo: Fast and rhythmic - A little faster, with energy - Tempo I - Faster
IV. Song: Tempo I. Quite slowly, peacefully - A little faster - Moving forward - Still moving forward
“A splendid showcase not only for the composer and the two excellent soloists but also the BBC Concert Orchestra, excelling itself under the Canadian conductor Bramwell Tovey. Brilliant, cleanly focused Chandos sound, too.”