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NEWS

PETER DICKINSON - BOOK OF WRITINGS  AND NEW ORCHESTRAL CD

MARCH 2016

LAUNCH OF ORCHESTRAL CD [HERITAGE 211] WITH SIX ORCHESTRAL WORKS - BBC NATIONAL ORCHESTRA OF WALES/CLARK RUNDELL
Purchase from: 
Presto Classical HERE

PUBLICATION OF PETER DICKINSON: WORDS AND MUSIC [BOYDELL]

'As composer, performer and writer, Peter Dickinson has made a significant contribution to British musical life...With fine illustrations and selected music examples, this is a richly sartisfying book' Philip Borg-Wheeler, Classical Music, August 2016

Purchase from Boydell & Brewer HERE

BBC RADIO 3 BROADCASTS IN 2016 - VIOLIN CONCERTO ON MONDAY 22 FEBRUARY

SATIE TRANSFORMATIONS - THURSDAY 25 FEBRUARY

BACH IN BLUE - FRIDAY 26 FEBRUARY

SUITE FOR THE CENTENARY OF LORD BERNERS - MONDAY 3 OCTOBER

Mass of the Apocalypse in Aldeburgh Festival Sunday 14 June 2015

Suite for the Centenary of Lord Berners, Snape Maltings Proms, BBC Concert Orchestra/Barry Wordsworth, 22 August 2016

80th BIRTHDAY EVENTS 

London Concert

10 November 2014, presented by the Park Lane Group in the series of concerts at the residence of Bob Boas at 22 Mansfield Street, London W1. The programme also included works by composers associated with Dickinson as writer, broadcaster or performer - Berners, Lennox Berkeley, Copland, Satie and Ellington.                        

Dickinson - Four W.H. Auden Songs (1956)                                                                                   Joanna Skillett, soprano; Melanie Jones, piano 
Dickinson - Vitalitas Variations (1957)                                                                                 
Joseph Houston, piano                                                                                                   
Dickinson - Five Forgeries for piano duet (1963)                                                                       David Eaton and James Young                                                                                                         Dickinson - A Celebration Trio for violin, clarinet & piano (arr.2009)                                                   Dickinson - Bach in Blue (2004/11)                                                                 

Malcom Miller wrote in Music and Vision, 15 November 2014                 

'An eightieth birthday concert to celebrate the achievements of Peter Dickinson was an aptly spirirted affair, which highlighted his distinctive and multi-faceted qualities as a British composer, solo and chamber pianist, author, broadcaster and editor, a 'Renaissance' musician who is very much a pioneer in post-modernism...The Celebration Trio formed a bright conclusion to this varied evening, affirming the creative versatility and individuality of a polymath in the world of music whose intertwining strands of musical thought feed each other to produce a fertile and fruitful oeuvre.'                          [actually the concert ended with Dickinson playing three songs of Ellington in his own arrangements]

Concert in Manchester

26 October 2014 at the Royal Northern College of Music                                                               The Rawsthorne Trust had commissioned Dickinson to make a reduction for speaker and piano of Rawsthorne's Practical Cats - and later a piano duet version. The programme also included Dickinson's Fantasy for clarinet & piano, 1956 (Linda Merrick and Harvey Davies); Sonatina for solo bassoon, 1966/2011 (premiere: Rosie Burton) and Bach in Blue (version with recorder: John Turner)

William Alwyn Festival

9 October at St Edmund's Church, Southwold                                                                       Paraphrase II: Mark (Nathan Williamson: piano)

RECENT ARTICLES ABOUT PETER DICKINSON 

'Rags, Blues and Transformations' by Richard Leigh Harris, Musical Opinion, October-December 2014,10-13

'Peter Dickinson on Heritage Records' by Nigel Simeone, International Record Review, November 2014, 17-18

Interview with James Jolly in The Gramophone [now in Peter Dickinson: Words and Music, Boydell 2016]

'Peter Dickinson at 80' by Stephen Banfield, Tempo, April, 53-59 [now in Words and Music, Boydell 2016]

'Peter the Great', by Phillip Sommerich, Classical Music, March 2016

'Dickinson delights', by Andrew Thomson, Musical Times, Autumn 2016, 118-20                                                                                                                     

THE JUDAS TREE - by THOMAS BLACKBURN AND PETER DICKINSON

 

CD RELEASE OF ACCLAIMED AMERICAN PRODUCTION OF MUSICAL DRAMA

The Judas Tree: A Musical Drama of Judas Iscariot is a unique collaboration between Thomas Blackburn (1916-77) and composer Peter Dickinson. Blackburn explores the role of Judas in the events leading up to Christ’s passion and death. The problem of evil in society, eternally present, is given a new slant in Blackburn’s often provocative treatment in both poetry and prose.

The Judas Tree, lasting an hour and twenty minutes, is a kind of music theatre with five actors, two tenors, SATB chorus, string and brass quintets, percussion, piano and organ (published by Novello). It was originally written for students of the College of St Mark and St John, in London, where Blackburn and Dickinson both taught and, after performances there, The Judas Tree ran for a week in the Fringe of the Edinburgh Festival and at Liverpool Cathedral followed by a new production from the English Opera Group at Southwark Cathedral.

Its reception in the 1960s was remarkable and nowhere more so than at Washington National Cathedral where it received rave reviews, playing to some 3000 people on three nights in Holy Week 1967. In the words of The Washington Post: ‘No one can come away from a performance of this work unmoved by its drama, untouched by its poetry, untroubled by its meaning.’  Fortunately that historic performance was recorded and is now available on CD (Heritage HTCD 263) and there is a new edition of Blackburn’s autobiography, A Clip of Steel [Valancourt Books]. 

REVIEWS OF THE ORIGINAL PRODUCTION

‘The most compelling and deeply considered religious work to come my way since Britten's War Requiem’    THE TIMES (LONDON) 

‘By far the most powerful religious drama which I have seen in the Fringe since the Edinburgh Festival began’ THE SCOTSMAN 

‘Peter Dickinson and Thomas Blackburn have made a powerful impact on the worlds of music and drama with The Judas Tree. Although the compositional techniques are diverse they…succeed in presenting a strong and unified expression of personality always in control of the moment’

MUSIC AND MUSICIANS

                                                                                   

Recent Peter Dickinson Recordings — Three Concertos on Heritage HTGCD 276

Peter Dickinson’s three concertos form the core of his large-scale works. The Organ Concerto came first and was written for Simon Preston: the Piano Concerto for Howard Shelley. The Violin Concerto was a BBC commission (1986) and is dedicated to the memory of the great British violinist Ralph Holmes who died prematurely. The concerto was recorded for the first time by Chloe Hanslip and the BBC National Orchestra of Wales conducted by Clark Rundell on April 2/3 at Hoddinott Hall, Cardiff. There was a BBC Radio 3 broadcast on 23 September 2014 and CD was released on Heritage HTGCD 276 in November to coincide with the composer’s 80th, along with the previously recorded Piano Concerto [Howard Shelley] and Organ Concerto [Jennifer Bate] with the BBC SO/Atherton. Merseyside Echoes (1988, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic commission), a light-hearted reflection of the sound world of early Beatles, was also recorded on April 3 for broadcast and inclusion on the same CD.

'This is a fantastic CD from Heritage which showcases four superb works by Peter Dickinson. It is well-presented, superbly recorded and brilliantly performed by the soloists and orchestras. The liner-notes by the composer are detailed and essential for proactive listening. These works display Dickinson’s ability to write music that is at the same time approachable and challenging. His ability to fuse diverse musical styles is masterly. This is a fitting 80th birthday tribute to a great composer, performer, teacher and writer.'

John France, Music Web International, 11 November 2014

SEVEN ORCHESTRAL WORKS - ON HERITAGE HTGCD 211

A BIRTHDAY SURPRISE, SATIE TRANSFORMATIONS, FIVE DIVERSIONS, BACH IN BLUE, MERSEYSIDE ECHOES, SUITE FOR THE CENTENARY OF LORD BERNERS, MONOLOGUE FOR STRINGS

BBC NATIONAL ORCHESTRA OF WALES/ CLARK RUNDELL

'This is an outstanding retrospective of Peter Dickinson's orchestral music. It is brilliantly played, finely recorded and well presented. The liner-notes by the composer make essential reading. I get the distinct impression that the BBC National Orchestra of Wales throughly enjoyed recording these varied pieces...an essential CD for all admirers of Dickinson's eclectic style..'

John France, Music Web International, 23 March 2016

'Throughout, as in the Concertos, there is an evident joy in subverting a music's original purpose through stylistic juxtapostions and Dickinson's piquant orchestration. The BBC NOW barely put a foot wrong. It's wonderful at last to have top-quality premiere recordings of these seven works that have waited far too long to appear on record.'

David Threasher, Gramophone, June 2016 

 

 

 

 

 

© 2008-17 Peter Dickinson