October sees two performances of music by composer John Hardy: by the BBC National Orchestra of Wales, and in a portrait concert for John at the Royal Welsh College of Music & Drama.
The BBC National Orchestra of Wales will play Blue Letters from Tanganyika in their concert Welsh Foundations 1, which explores the work of Welsh composers over the last century. The concert takes place at BBC Hoddinott Hall in Cardiff on 18th October.
Tickets at http://www.bbc.co.uk/events/ew4gwh.
Blue Letters from Tanganyika was inspired by the adventures described by John's mother in letters she wrote home during her time travelling across East Africa as a teacher in the 1950s. “What I did was to take some of them and use them as the basis for a sort of tone poem,” explains John, “describing in music some of the colour and drama of her time there.”
The 18-minute piece is split into four movements, each based on a different part of her travels.
“The first movement is her arrival there, a dangerous and rough journey, at one point she inadvertently walked through an area patrolled by lions; the second movement is a scherzo which describes travelling on a lake, sometimes calm and tranquil and other times stormy; the third describes the calm and peace of the very long and dark African nights near the Equator and then the last movement is an on-safari finale.”
Find out more about the story and listen to the music on John's website.
Royal Welsh College of Music & Drama are producing a special portrait concert, called The Music of John Hardy, on 5th October. The concert will include extracts from John's music for the 1918 film The Life Story Of David Lloyd George, performed live as the film is screened.
Also in the concert is Cofiwch Orovela/Remember Orovela, a piece by John inspired by "an ancient Georgian folk song which I found a recording of, sung, unaccompanied, by an old woman - it is strange and beautiful. Then I later arranged this semi-neo-Baroque piece for three solo violins, with small ensemble, for the Singh Family of Llandybie... for me the singing seems to contain all the ancient and modern sorrows of the world, all the loss, all the grief. Yet with a fairly brisk Baroque/modern accompaniment, there is an exuberance to the mix of ingredients too."
The concert takes place on 5th October at Dora Stoutzker Hall, Cardiff. Get more information and tickets from RWCMD.