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Published on July 24th, 2017 by gavin

Cory Take Feature Role In Welsh Proms

The 2017 Welsh Proms, Wales’ national classical music festival, will take place at the national concert hall of Wales, St David’s Hall, Cardiff, all this next week from July 22 to 29, and brass band musicians will once again feature at the event.

The 2017 Welsh Proms, the festival’s 32nd consecutive season, will feature a wealth of leading artists which include the Welsh National Opera Orchestra, and a special three night residency with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra. A centrepiece of the week will also be a gala Brass & Voices Prom featuring the current National, British Open and Brass In Concert Champions, The Cory Band on Wednesday July 26th.

Cory will be directed at the concert by Welsh Proms Artistic Director Owain Arwel Hughes CBE and the programme will feature a number of major transcriptions for band including The Force of Destiny, Procession to the Minster, The March from The Pines of Rome, Finale from Tchaikovsky Symphony No. 4 and more. Cory will appear alongside a 200 voice male choir, drawn from Bridgend, Cardiff, Ogmore Vale & Rhondda.

Speaking about the event, Owain Arwel Hughes told A4B: “This season’s Proms is one of the biggest and best yet, and it’s right and fitting that, alongside leading visiting orchestras and soloists, we can also feature some of Wales’ leading brass bands and choirs. We’re fiercely proud of our traditional musical institutions. They’re something I strongly support and very much enjoy working with, and I’m delighted to be able to support and feature them at our national classical music festival”.

In addition to Cory’s appearance, their former solo euphonium, international soloist David Childs will also appear, as soloist in the Last Night of the Welsh Proms with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra on Saturday July 29th.

As part of the performance, David will premiere a new Concerto for Euphonium and Symphony Orchestra by the prominent Welsh composer Paul Mealor. On the new work, Paul said: “The score to my new concerto is prefaced with the final lines of the old, Gaelic song, ‘Fear a’ Bhàta’:

‘I am all too sad and tearful
Like a white swan that has been torn
Sounding her death-call on a small grassy loch
Having been forsaken by all.’

‘Fear a’ Bhàta’ – or in English, ‘The Boatman’ – tells the tale of a fisherman and his wife. She accompanies her love to the shores of the sea to wave him off; but, to her tragedy, he never returns. Each day she returns to the see and sings to him, but no answer ever comes. In the tradition of Celtic songs it is dark and full of passion and pain. The song’s lyrics show us the two sides of deep love.

In my new concerto, I explore darkness and light in a number of ways beginning with a hushed, sustained opening over a pedal bass. The soloist is very much the soloist here as he interacts with a dark, impassioned landscape. The second section – which follows without a break – is an allegro. Here the soloist is very much ‘part’ of the orchestra, before a hushed adagio third section of the work examines the concerto’s main themes again. After a long cadenza, the soloists and orchestra fly headlong into an allegro con spirito. Here is the most virtuosic writing of the work and mist energetic for all concerned. The work ends positively: hope always remains…”

Speaking about the premiere, Owain Arwel Hughes told A4B: “I’m delighted that this new Concerto – the first concerto Paul has composed – will be premiered here at the Welsh Proms, and that it’s written for euphonium, formerly the composer’s own instrument. I’m sure it will follow in the footsteps of the concerti by Sir Karl Jenkins, Alun Hoddinott and other works we have performed and premiered at the Proms in becoming a cornerstone of the repertoire in future years”.




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