St Christopher

CHROMA/Williams
Event 13
Sunday October 16th, 3.00pm 
Little Missenden Church

French dances and an English tale
Maurice Ravel
Trois Chansons Madécasses (arr Edmund Hunt) , Tombeau de Couperin (selected movements arr Danny Lewis-Fardon)
François Couperin
Concerts Royaux (selection arr Kirsty Devanay)
Joe Cutler/Martin Riley
New work (world première)
Eric Satie
Gnossiennes, Gymnopédies, Sarabande (selected movements arr Andy Ingamells)

This is an archived event from the 2011 programme.

Roderick Williams baritone

CHROMA:  Stuart King clarinet  Rose Redgrave viola  Clare O'Connell cello  Ian Watson accordion  Helen Sharp harp

A programme full of imaginary dances, recalling the grace and charm of the French Baroque and its elegant inversion by Ravel and Satie, is played and sung by an outstanding ensemble and one of our leading baritones. The première of a new story-based work by award-winning composer Joe Cutler and children’s writer Martin Riley brings the event and the Festival to a close.

François Couperin (le Grand)’s Concerts Royaux are a series of dance suites written as entertainments for Louis XIV – concerts not social dances. Ravel’s Tombeau de Couperin evokes the spirit of a baroque dance suite with “poise, transparency and elegance” (Telegraph), while the stirring and earthy Chansons Madécasses, settings of an 18th century Creole poet, were among his own favourite works.

Satie’s Gymnopédies, Gnossiennes and Sarabande are his most popular works. Cool, spare and disarmingly simple, they haunt the ear and memory with evocations of ancient Greek dances and rites.

The programme will be brought to life by CHROMA in vivid new arrangements by composers at Birmingham Conservatoire, using the group’s attractive range of instrumental colour.

Joe and Martin are writing a theatrical piece for Roderick Williams with clarinet, viola, cello, accordion and harp, based on Chaucer's story Chanticleer and the Fox.  Joe's music is rhythmic and quirky, and he’s inspired by story-telling – a perfect fit for the Roald Dahl Museum and Story Centre, where he will be the first composer-in-residence, working with Martin to run family ‘drop-in’ workshops and projects in local schools. The Museum commissioned Joe’s piece.

The  critically-acclaimed ensemble CHROMA has been called “exemplary” and “amazing”, and praised for “unabashed and infectious passion”.  They’re joined by the rich, burnished and flexible voice of Roderick Williams, one of our most distinguished singers – “Britain’s best baritone” according to Opera magazine.

 "CHROMA's performance is exquisite..." (Classical Source)

"A formidable ensemble at the top of its game" (Bernard Hughes)

"CHROMA could give such groups as the Nash and Endymion a run for their money...the cause of new music needs advocates like these" (Daily Telegraph)

Joe Cutler is Head of Composition at Birmingham Conservatoire.  In 2008 he won British Composer Award in the Chamber Music category, and a CD of his works was one of Gramophone's Top 20 Releases of the Year.  Joe’s music has been described as “propulsive” (BBC Music Magazine), and “alluring” (Scotsman).  Andrew Clements (Guardian) wrote of his “visceral energy” and “genuine sense of daring”.

“Full of explosive energy, formally cohesive; this was music that came to get you” (Yorkshire Post)

“Inventive melodies, rich and sensitive instrumental colours, logical musical structures” (Ruch Muzyczny, Poland)

Martin Riley is a writer, storyteller, poet, librettist, and animateur who’s written Jackanory stories and devised many children’s comedy drama series.

CHROMA's website can be accessed here. Roderick Williams' Ingpen page is here. An interview with Roderick Williams can be found here.

For more information on Joe Cutler, click here. For information on the Roald Dahl Museum, click here.

The residency and commission are funded by the PRS for Music Foundation and the Museum