Gregson: Blazon, Violin Concerto, Clarinet Concerto & Stepping Out Olivier Charlier, Michael Collins, BBC Philharmonic Orchestra & Martyn Brabbins

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  • Edward Gregson (b. 1945): Blazon:
  • 1Gregson: Blazon10:26
  • Clarinet Concerto:
  • 2Gregson: Clarinet Concerto: Part I. Slowly - Not too fast, but with energy (Revised 2002)12:50
  • 3Gregson: Clarinet Concerto: Part II. Quite slowly (Revised 2002)18:53
  • Stepping Out:
  • 4Gregson: Stepping Out03:28
  • Violin Concerto:
  • 5Gregson: Violin Concerto: I. Flowing - Faster, but steadily (Revised 2001)11:16
  • 6Gregson: Violin Concerto: II. Slow and pensive - A little faster (Revised 2001)10:44
  • 7Gregson: Violin Concerto: III. Fast, dance-like - Same tempo, but more relaxed (Revised 2001)07:04
  • Total Runtime01:14:41

Info zu Gregson: Blazon, Violin Concerto, Clarinet Concerto & Stepping Out

The work is in two parts and lasts for about 30 minutes. It is scored for large symphony orchestra, without clarinets except for a bass clarinet, which plays an important role in 'shadowing' the soloist. Part One opens with the solo clarinet in a cadenza-like introduction, gradually joined by the orchestra, in which most of the main material follows, which has a sonata-form outline with two main thematic ideas announced, developed, and recapitulated. However, there is a constant process of thematic metamorphosis, so that when the second theme is heard again near the end t has been transformed into something quite different. The final bars, with their punctuated dissonant rhythms, leave the music hanging in the air, unresolved.

Part Two attempts to resolve the musical argument and transforms material from Part One into more tonal and melodically-based music. It opens with a long slow movement (strings only at the outset) which presents a chorale-like motive against a backdrop of a falling semitone ostinato (the same interval with which the concerto began and one which dominates throughout) heard on high violins. After a central climax the soloist unfolds a long, but quite simple melody, a gesture towards which the music has been striving. This leads into the final section, a boisterous dance, which incorporates 'popular' elements as well as reviewing material from Part One. The music inevitably moves towards its climax, heading towards B flat major and the melody the whole concerto has been waiting for. Its final bars resolve everything. (Edward Gregson)

"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" (International Record Review)

"…the flair for the full orchestra demonstrated in his Concerto for Orchestra is confirmed by this disc of works from the Nineties…The Clarinet Concerto extends his skill in formal planning to a two-movement structure lasting over half an hour, with an arresting opening, a calmly expansive slow movement, and a simple melodic conclusion that feels organic rather than an afterthought. The Violin Concerto is another imaginatively constructed large-scale piece…The BBC Philharmonic plays with the confidence of a band which knows it is in the hands of an expert composer, and an equally skilled conductor." (Anthony Burton, BBC Music Magazine)

Olivier Charlier, violin
Michael Collins, clarinet
BBC Philharmonic
Martyn Brabbins, conductor

Olivier Charlier
counts undoubtedly among the great violinists. He conquers the public with the natural grace of pure playing, as an exceptionally dedicated and gifted performer whose virtuosity supremely serves the music.

Of a remarkable precocity, he enters the Paris Conservatoire at the age of 10, and received illustrious support, as Nadia Boulanger, Yehudi Menuhin and Henryk Szeryng. Follows an impressive series of international rewards: Competition of Munich, Montreal, Sibelius, Jacques Thibaud, Indianapolis, Young Concert Artists (New york).

A brilliant career opens then and he is invited by the Parisian orchestras : Orchestre National de France, Orchestre de Paris, Philharmonique de Radio France, Ensemble Orchestral de Paris, Orchestre de l'Opera...) as well as numerous international orchestras: London Philharmonic, Symphony Orchestra of Berlin, Tonnhalle of Zurich, City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, Philharmonic of Monte Carlo, RAI of Turin, BBC Orchestras, Pittsburgh Symphony, Orchestra of the Foundation Gulbenkian, National Orchestra of Belgium, Phiharmonique of Liège, Yomiuri Nippon Symphony, Tokyo Philharmonic, Orchestras of Montreal, Sydney, Mexico, Caracas...) and with conductors : Serge Baudo, Alain Lombard, Theodor Gushlbauer, Sakari Oramo, Yann-Pascal Tortelier, Armin Jordan, Pascal Rophé, Emmanuel Krivine, Gianandrea Noseda, Karl-Anton Rickenbacker, Lawrence Foster, James Judd, Yutaka Sado, Gustavo Dudamel, Jerzy Semkow, Charles Dutoit, Hans Graf, Klaus Weise, Michel Plasson…

His discography testifies of a great eclecticism: Beethoven, Schumann, Mendelssohn, Grieg, St Saëns, Lalo... Next to the concerto "L'arbre des songes" of Dutilleux that he recorded twice, we also find works of Pierné, Lili Boulanger, Vierne, Gerard Schurmann, John McEwen, Edward Gregson, Roberto Gerhard, Cyril Scott, among whom several world premieres. His most recent recording is dedicated to Mozart concertos, with Prague Chamber Orchestra. Vivaldi will be released this year.

The Marlboro Festival was for the young Olivier a revelation, and he is since a fervent chambrist. He participates regularly to numerous festivals: Prades, "Folles journées" of Nantes, La Roque d'Anthéron, Orangerie of Sceaux, Berlioz festival, Nice, Radio-France-Montpellier...

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