Julian Anderson: The Comedy Of Change & Heaven Is
Catalog: ODE 1313-2
BBC Symphony Chorus; BBC Symphony Orchestra; Bickley, Susan; London Sinfonietta; Knussen, Oliver
This recording includes the world premiere recording of an oratorio written by Julian Anderson (b. 1967), one of the most remarkable British composers of our era, conducted by the late Oliver Knussen and performed by Susan Bickley and the BBC Symphony Orchestra and Chorus. These recordings highlight the art of Julian Anderson and are a unique testimony of artistic collaboration and friendship between him and the conductor that lasted for 37 years. Julian Anderson was commissioned to write a substantial work for solo mezzo-soprano, chorus, and orchestra for the 2006 BBC Proms. This resulted in the creation of ‘Heaven is Shy of Earth,’ an oratorio based on texts by poet Emily Dickinson. The work also features texts of a Latin mass. Despite the predominance of Latin religious texts, this is not a sacred work. The insertions change the whole structure away from denominational Christianity and bring the liturgy out and into the natural world as a sort of secular Eucharist- a celebration and sanctification of nature itself. This substantial work ends in a beautiful climax of harmonious ecstasy, a movement which the composer added in 2010. ‘The Comedy of Change’ is a work for 12 instruments which pays tribute to Charles Darwin and celebrates the 150th anniversary of the publication of his book ‘The Origin of Species.’ The composer intended the work to function as both a free-standing concert piece and the score of a ballet. Anderson was concerned with both the inevitable and the unpredictable aspects of change.