BFO at the Bath Festival 2022

16 May 2022

Concert Date

16 May 2022 - 8:00 pm

Running time: approximately 75 mins

To book tickets click here

The Bath Festival Orchestra is committed to making its work relevant to our contemporary world, we believe that classical music can help us understand both the past and the present. Our programme of water-themed repertoire for the Bath Festival on 16th May addresses the important environmental issues that our world faces and we’ll perform this beautiful repertoire surrounded by Bath’s world-famous Roman baths. A Roman temple was constructed on the site of our concert more than 2000 years ago to celebrate the life-giving properties of the natural spring there – but given the environmental crisis the world is facing will this spring still be here in another 2000 years time ?

Four countries – all separated by water – bring forth a composer each, with four different water-inspired musical pieces. The journey starts in Japan, with music from the well-known composer Toru Takemitsu and his work Toward the Sea (1981). This work was commissioned by Greenpeace for the Save the Whales campaign. The work, which exists in three different versions, is divided in three parts which are titled after Melville’s Moby Dick, or The Whale and serves as a homage to the sea.

From Japan we travel across the Pacific Ocean to the United States, where the upcoming composer Daniel Temkin uses the rugged energy and, at the same time, tranquillity of the Pacific Ocean as an inspiration for Ocean’s Call, which premiered as recently as 2018.

Next we cross the Atlantic Ocean, to arrive in the UK; home of 20th Century Welsh composer Grace Williams. Another homage to the sea, her work Sea Sketches is one of her most performed pieces. In five movements for strings she depicts various moods of the sea, the love of which led her to move out of London to the Welsh town of Barry – all so she could be closer to the sea.

The final destination is found across the North Sea: The Netherlands – a country well known for its long-standing relationship with the sea. Dutch composer Joey Roukens originally wrote Visions at Sea for string quartet, after which a version for string orchestra came about, commissioned by Amsterdam Sinfonietta in 2016. After a journey full of musical ocean storms, gentle floating, sailing and singing, the last few ethereal harmonies of the programme lead us safely ashore.

  • Peter Manning
  • Bath Festival Orchestra
  • Toru Takemitsu
  • Daniel Temkin
  • Grace Williams
  • Joey Roukens

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