John Hardy's Blue Letters from Tanganyika is a bright, energetic piece inspired by the adventures of a young woman travelling in East Africa: John's mother.
During nearly 2 years spent overseeing schools in an area of Tanzania the size of England, she wrote over 70 letters home describing wild animal encounters, exotic landscapes and countless tales of danger, bravery and the ‘everyday life’ of a totally unfamiliar environment.
Forty years after her return, her son John Hardy was commissioned by the BBC National Orchestra of Wales to write this piece, which they performed at 5 concerts and broadcast several times on BBC Radio 3.
Full of exuberant African colours, this beautiful recording by the BBC National Orchestra of Wales under Grant Llewellyn captures an exotic world of sweltering wild terrain, dangerous journeys through lion country and the calm of twilight over the great lake.
"The rhythmically charged, open and immediately engaging music is bright and colourful while still managing to evoke the African landscape"
Pwyll ap Siôn, Gramophone Magazine
Gavin Allen, South Wales Echo
4 stars **** "Four colourful, finely crafted movements"
Phil Sommerich, Classical Music Magazine
'masterpiece of creation... an extraordinary piece of history'
Roy Noble, BBC Radio Wales
"Colourful, filmic, and open to pleasurable listening at a single sitting"
Howard Smith, Music & Vision
"The tears fell with the pleasure of hearing it again"