Works by Sean Clancy and Gerald Barry feature in a concert on 3 February by the Birmingham Contemporary Music Group

Séan Clancy

The concert takes place on Friday, 3 February 2012 at 7.30pm at the CBSO Centre, Birmingham and features the world premiere of Findentotenlieder by Seán Clancy and Gerald Barry’s recent work Feldman’s Sixpenny Editions.

Seán Clancy was BCMG/SAM Apprentice Composer-in-Residence during 2011. The Dublin-born composer spent much of the last twelve months working with BCMG and contributing to the life of the ensemble. He gained a unique insight into the way BCMG works by attending performances, rehearsals and workshops and was supported by mentors, including American composer David Lang.

Clancy’s new work for BCMG, Findentotenlieder, marks the culmination of his residency with the ensemble. Using both ‘found’ text and popular music as its inspiration, the work is an extended song in six verses with instrumental interludes, setting texts drawn from Gabriel Orozco’s artwork Obit, to music very loosely based on Someone Great, a piece by electronic dance group LCD Soundsystem. Obit, recently exhibited at Tate Modern, is a collection of single peculiar lines take from New York Times obituaries.

The other Irish work programmed, Gerald Barry’s Feldman’s Sixpenny Editions, alludes to the popular sheet music the composer avidly collected and listened to as a boy. It was premiered by the London Sinfonietta in March 2011. BCMG has enjoyed a long and fruitful relationship with the music of Gerald Barry, commissioning several new works from him and performing his operas Powder her Face and The Triumph of Beauty and Deceit. The group will give the European premiere performance of Barry’s The Importance of Being Earnest in April 2012.

The two Irish works will be performed alongside works by Judith Weir and Gérard Grisey. The concert will be conducted by Clement Power and the American soprano Susan Narucki is the soloist. A pre-concert talk, which begins at 6.30pm, will feature BCMG’s Artistic Director, Stephen Newbould, in conversation with Seán Clancy about his new work.

Listen to an interview with Séan Clancy about Findentotenlieder and his residency with the BCMG

Judith Weir: Musicians Wrestle Everywhere (BCMG SI commission 1995)
Seán Clancy: Findetotenlieder* (world premiere)
Gerald Barry: Feldman’s Sixpenny Editions
Gérard Grisey: Quatre Chants pour franchir le seuil

Further information and booking: BCMG web site

See also: Stephen Graham’s interview with Séan Clancy in the Journal of Music

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