BBC NOW: Voices

7.30pm, Wednesday 15 September 2021

Online and radio broadcast from BBC Hoddinott Hall, Wales Millennium Centre

BBC National Orchestra of Wales
Geoffrey Paterson - conductor

Composer Piece Duration Listen
Pēteris Vasks Cantabile 9'
Sarah Jenkins Trallali, Trallaley, Trallalera 8'
John Metcalf Dances from Forgotten Places 18'
Judith Weir Give you the end of a golden string 14'
Guto Puw Ultrasonic 7'
Pēteris Vasks Symphony for Strings “Voices” 27'

Our annual concert with BBC National Orchestra of Wales brings together music by all five of this year’s featured composers. Like previous collaborations, it is rich in variety and shows the dynamism and thrill of hearing music by living composers from Wales and beyond. 

Unlike the other concerts in this year’s Festival, this one is being featured live on the BBC website and then recorded for broadcast later on BBC Radio 3.

The concert’s climax is Pēteris Vasks’ raw, emotive Symphony for Strings, Voices. Written in 1991, it reflects the turbulent new beginnings for his homeland, Latvia, as it regained independence, but also has a strong feeling of defiance and hope.

John Metcalf’s Dances from Forgotten Places is a much more personal piece, in part celebrating the inspiration and support of friendship. Each of this collection of six dances – five fast and one slow – is dedicated to one of the composer’s friends and reflective of their personalities.

BBC National Orchestra of Wales is conducted by contemporary music expert Geoffrey Paterson, who is at home working with music as diverse as Steve Reich and West Side Story.