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Geoffrey Burgon: Viola Concerto; Merciless Beauty

> Viola Concerto, "Ghosts of the Dance" - I. First Dance: Moderato - Presto - Meno mosso -
> Viola Concerto, "Ghosts of the Dance" - II. Second Dance: Lento, quasi tango
> Viola Concerto, "Ghosts of the Dance" - III. Third Dance: Vivo - Piu mosso - Tempo I - Piu mosso - Tempo I - Piu mosso - Moderato - Meno moss
> Merciless Beauty - No. 1. Western Wind
> Merciless Beauty - No. 2. Letter to Anna, pregnant
> Merciless Beauty - No. 3. The Sick Rose
> Merciless Beauty - No. 4. Tune for an Ice Cream Van
> Merciless Beauty - No. 5. Merciless Beauty
> Merciless Beauty - No. 6. Iron City Love Song
> Merciless Beauty - No. 7. Campionesque for Anna
> Cello Concerto - I. Con moto - Piu mosso - Piu mosso - Meno mosso -
> Cello Concerto - II. Lento e calmo - Piu mosso - A tempo I - Meno mosso
> Cello Concerto - III. Vivo - Meno mosso - Lento - Meno mosso - Piu mosso - Meno mosso

Album Summary

>Burgon, Geoffrey : Concerto for Viola ("Ghosts of the Dance")
>Burgon, Geoffrey : Merciless Beauty
>Burgon, Geoffrey : Concerto for Cello
Performers Conductor Ensemble
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Notes & Reviews:

For a generation or more of television watchers and filmgoers with even a passing interest in music, the name of British Composer Geoffrey Burgon will be a name known and admired. Many will remember 'Tinker, Taylor, Soldier, Spy', 'The Chronicles of Narnia' and of course 'Brideshead Revisited', for which Burgon won a Novello Award. However he has been writing successful choral and vocal music throughout his career and a small output of orchestral music. This disc brings together two concerto works; one for viola commissioned and played by Phillip Dukes with the title "Ghost of the Dance" and the other for cello with soloist Josephine Knight in its premiere performance. The disc is completed by a song cycle 'Merciless Beauty' written for Counter-Tenor James Bowman and here sung at the composer's invitation by mezzo-soprano Sarah Connolly. 'Merciless Beauty' is a setting of a mixture of poems from Chaucer to contemporary poets. The City of London Sinfonia is conducted by Rumon Gamba.

"Geoffrey Burgon's slinky, jazz-inflected viola concerto "Ghosts of the Dance" conveys colour, character and narrative in economical writing...Philip Dukes and Josephine Knight favour an almost vocal style of harrowed lyricism, while Sarah Connolly claims the 1997 song cycle written for James Bowman as her own. Merciless beauty, indeed." -The Independent

"Burgon's tightly focused style generates some truly arresting moments...A film sensibility may lie at the core of Burgon's musical personality but there is much here in terms of expressive weight and musical content to ensure that his music stands firm without the need for visual support." -Gramophone Magazine

"The superb Philip Dukes is the dedicatee and soloist in Ghosts of the Dance...a colourful and exhilarating listening experience...The City of London Sinfonia under Rumon Gamba seems to relish this music, as it should." -International Record Review

"[The Viola Concerto] is expertly written, and must be gratifying to play: Philip Dukes appears to enjoy himself, and never puts a foot wrong." -BBC Music Magazine ****

Notes & Reviews:

Recording information: Blackheath Halls, London.


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Works Details

>Burgon, Geoffrey : Concerto for Viola ("Ghosts of the Dance")
  • Performer: Philip Dukes (Viola)
  • Conductor: Rumon Gamba
  • Notes: Blackheath Halls, London (09/29/2009/09/30/2009)
  • Running Time: 20 min. 32 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary
  • Form: Concerto
  • Written: 2008

>Burgon, Geoffrey : Merciless Beauty
  • Performer: Sarah Connolly
  • Conductor: Rumon Gamba
  • Running Time: 1 min. 29 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary
  • Written: 1996

>Burgon, Geoffrey : Concerto for Cello
  • Performer: Josephine Knight (Cello)
  • Conductor: Rumon Gamba
  • Notes: Blackheath Halls, London (09/29/2009/09/30/2009)
  • Running Time: 22 min. 1 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary
  • Written: 2007