Jerome de Bromhead on Horizons 17 May
'Who's Afraid of New Music?
Don't be. It loves you, and you'll love it if you approach it with an open mind.'
'I strive to intrigue and delight with music that is evolutionary rather than revolutionary. My first experience in music was as a boy-soprano and my love of the singing line has never left me. I am delighted that Alan Smale is to be the soloist in the first performance of my violin concerto which constitutes the core of this concert.
My short piece for string orchestra Venti Eventi which opens the programme is included as an example of my earlier work. John Buckley's Campane in Aria both contrasts with, and complements my two works.
Venti Eventi was written in Sienna in 1978. It is of its time in its slightly furrowed brow, but with hints of the more smiling face that I feel has made a welcome appearance in the art music of recent years.
In choosing Campane in Aria by John Buckley, I wanted the listeners to enjoy a combination of harmony and psychology that is close to my own way of feeling music, although its hard edged bravura also contrasts with my pieces, which tend to be more rhapsodic.
My violin concerto mixes expressive singing and perceptible interconnections. These elements are combined in sometimes sudden and striking juxtapositions to produce a coherent structure. The listeners will find themselves in a dreamscape where various landmarks are recognisable even from different viewpoints, so they will always have a good idea of where they are. Above all, I hope they will revel in the singing line; Alan Smale will play it very beautifully, and the wonderful RTÉ NSO will both challenge and support him. Colman Pearce will inspire and guide the ensemble through what I hope will be an exhilarating and happy experience. The work was partly influenced by the violin playing of my son Charles, and I hope in future, to mirror this in concertos for Cello (Paul) and Alan (viola).'