Anna Meredith: Five Telegrams

The BBC Proms is often a hotbed for intriguing programming, where the newest voices in classical music are programmed alongside the canonic “warhorses.” This year was no exception—the opening concert of the 2018 season saw the world premiere of Five Telegrams by the British composer Anna Meredith. Inspired by communications sent by soldiers during World War I, the piece is scored for full orchestra (with an extra complement of brass), chorus, and visual projections. Below is the result, which is a mesmerizing spectacle for both the eyes and ears.

(While the piece deserves a listen in its entirety, for those short on time, skip to 23:40 in the video below for a lead-in to some of the most insanely powerful, mind-blowing chords in the entirety of music.)

As a bonus, here is a piece Meredith composed for the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain in 2012—a fantastic showcase for body percussion, rather than instruments. The coordination and energy of these young instrumentalists has to be seen to be believed…

“The High Road to Kilkenny”

To help celebrate St. Patrick’s Day, here is a video clip from one of my favorite albums – The High Road to Kilkenny, which is a collection of Gaelic songs and dances from the 17th and 18th centuries. This music, which ranges from lively and infectious reels to tender and melancholic ballads, is beautifully performed by François Lazarevitch and the French period instrument group Les Musiciens de Saint-Julien.

It’s a fantastic album overall and if this sample catches your fancy, I’ve posted a Spotify playlist of the entire album below.

“A New Satiesfaction”

I’m hoping to get some new blog posts up in the coming weeks (grad school busyness strikes again!) but in the meantime, here is a fantastic reimagining of Erik Satie’s famous Gymnopédie No. 1, performed by Made in Berlin. This fairly new string quartet is made up of violinist Ray Chen and three string players from the Berlin Philharmonic – Noah Bendix-Bagley (violin), Amihai Grosz (viola), and Stephan Koncz (cello). Enjoy!