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STRAVINSKY The Soldier’s Tale. Dame Harriet Walter, Harrison Birtwistle, George Benjamin, Royal Academy of Music Manson Ensemble / Oliver Knussen. Linn

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Stravinsky The Soldiers Tale Manson Ensemble Oliver Knussen Linn

Stravinsky:
The Soldier’s Tale


Oliver Knussen & Royal Academy of Music Manson Ensemble

1. Stravinsky: Fanfare for a New Theatre
2. Maxwell Davies arr. Oliver Knussen: Canon ad honorem Igor Stravinsky
3. Birtwistle: Chorale from a Toy Shop - for Igor Stravinsky (2016 version for winds)
4. Birtwistle: Chorale from a Toy Shop - for Igor Stravinsky (2016 version for strings)
5-22. Stravinsky: The Soldier’s Tale
23. Stravinsky: Double Canon (Raoul Dufy in memoriam)
24. Stravinsky: Epitaphium für das Grabmal des Prinzen Max Egon zu Fürstenberg
25. Birtwistle: Tombeau - in memoriam Igor Stravinsky
26. Maxwell Davies: Canon in memoriam Igor Stravinsky

ABOUT STRAVINSKY: THE SOLDIER’S TALE
• The fifth recording from the talented students of London’s Royal Academy pairs Stravinsky’s The Soldier’s Tale with music by Harrison Birtwistle and Peter Maxwell Davies.
• For his debut recording with Linn, conductor Oliver Knussen has assembled an impressive cast of contemporary composers for The Soldier’s Tale: Harrison Birtwistle as the soldier and George Benjamin as the Devil, with actress Dame Harriet Walter as the narrator.
• The longest work on this disc, The Soldier’s Tale mixes fiendishly difficult changes of time signature with Stravinsky’s newly discovered love of jazz with melodies which echo his larger pre-war scores.
• It is also a work that demonstrates immense clarity and moving simplicity at times, and a sardonic wit at others.
• With such a starry cast this recording will be of particular interest to those with an interest in contemporary music, especially considering the addition of two new Birtwistle world premiere versions of Chorale from a Toy Shop written specially for the recording.
• The rest of the programme includes an exquisite Knussen arrangement of Maxwell Davies’ Canon ad honorem Igor Stravinsky, intermixed with Stravinsky’s own late commemorative miniatures.

ABOUT OLIVER KNUSSEN
• One of the pre-eminent composer-conductors in the world today, Oliver Knussen CBE is presently Sir Richard Rodney Bennett Professor of Music at the Royal Academy of Music.
• The recipient of many honours and awards, including the Nemmers Prize in 2006 and the RPS Conductor Award in 2009, he has served as Artistic Director of the Aldeburgh Festival (1983–98), Head of Contemporary Music at the Tanglewood Music Center (1986–93), Principal Guest Conductor of the Hague Residentie Orchestra (1993– 97), Music Director of the London Sinfonietta (1998–2002) and Artistin- Association with the BBC Symphony Orchestra (2009–14).
• In 2012 his sixtieth birthday was celebrated with special events in Aldeburgh, Amsterdam, Birmingham, London and Tanglewood and he has recorded more than fifty CDs for labels including Deutsche Grammophon, Decca, Virgin and NMC.

‘…seriously impressive playing from students of the Royal Academy of Music... the ensemble sound is elegant and refined.’ The Guardian
‘From the podium it was given clear direction and guided by Knussen’s equally keen ear.’ BachTrack
‘Knussen obtained tight ensemble here in a performance of real tenderness.’ The Telegraph

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