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mon 27 apr 2020 17:00 

Howard Skempton.

Some music fans call him the British Satie. 72-year-old Howard Skempton excels in tranquil and moving miniatures, but he may as well entertain you with extensive minimalist compositions. Skempton is drawing freely from sources of tonal, easily accessible and comforting music. His compositions increasingly appeal to a broader audience. The works of the modest master Skempton are influenced by folk music, avant-garde, minimalism, baroque and impressionism. When he joined the illustrious Scratch Orchestra in the sixties, he learned to experiment musically. From the seventies on, he has chosen his own, very personal path. He composes music in which melody and simplicity are perfectly balanced.

In this episode of Theme, we broadcast Skempton’s somewhat longer compositions, including vocal works and works for organ, orchestra, string quartet and chamber music ensemble.

Playlist

Howard Skempton:

1. ‘Ave Virgo sanctissima’ (2001), for choir, from Howard Skempton’s CD: The Cloths of Heaven. The Exon Singers led by Matthew Owens. Delphian DCD 34056 CD

2. ‘The Song of Songs’ (2000), or choir, from Howard Skempton’s CD: The Cloths of Heaven. The Exon Singers led by Matthew Owens. Delphian DCD 34056 CD

3. ‘Nature’s Fire’ (1994), for organ, from Howard Skempton’s CD: The Cloths of Heaven. Matthew Owens (organ). Delphian DCD 34056 CD

4. ‘He wishes for the Clothes of Heaven’ (1999), for choir, from Howard Skempton’s CD: The Cloths of Heaven. The Exon Singers led by Matthew Owens. Delphian DCD 34056 CD

5. ‘Recessional’ (1983), for organ, from Howard Skempton’s CD: The Cloths of Heaven. Matthew Owens (organ). Delphian DCD 34056 CD

6. ‘Lento’ (1991) for orchestra, from Howard Skempton’s CD: Lento. BBC Symphony Orchestra led by Mark Wigglesworth. NMC Records NMC D005 CD

7. ‘Catch’ (2001) for string quartet, from Quatuor Bozzini’s CD: Canons + Hoquets. Quatuor Bozzini (quartet). QB Records CQB 0704 CD

8+ 9. ‘Surface Tension 1 +2’ (1975) for flute, cello and piano, from Howard Skempton’s CD: Surface Tension. HCD-Productions ensemble. Mode Records Mode 61 CD

10. ‘Tendrils’ (2004)for string quartet, from Quatuor Bozzini’s CD: Canons + Hoquets. Quatuor Bozzini (quartet). QB Records CQB 0704 CD

11. ‘The Rime of the Ancient Mariner’ (2013-2015) for baritone and ensemble, from Howard Skempton’s CD: The Rime of the Ancient Mariner. Roderick Williams (baritone) and the Birmingham Contemporary Music Group led by Martyn Brabbins. NMC Records NMC D234 CD

 

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