Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Ruth Gipps — Seattle — Saturday

Don't forget!  This coming Holy Saturday, 31st March, the Seattle Philharmonic Orchestra will give the United States première performance of Ruth Gipps' Symphony No. 2, amongst other works.  This might seem a long delay for a work written in 1945, but given that Gipps' fifth symphony has still not received a single broadcast in her home country, or that no commercial recordings exist of any but the second, and that hardly any of her other music is known or performed, this is actually a very good sign that her work is receiving new attention, and deserves an international stage.  The conductor, Adam Stern, speaks of a 'joyous journey of discovery' in preparing the work, and says that this is 'one of the most important premières the Philharmonic has ever done'.

I don't know from this distance whether this performance will be broadcast, or if a recording will be available afterwards, but in a way it is exciting enough simply to know that the performance will take place.  I will be very interested to hear how it goes. Hopefully this will spur our own musical life in Britain into action!

Conductor Adam Stern explains the work:


6 comments :

  1. Dear Dominic,
    Thank you, yet again, for your kind attention to our concert. I think it is no exaggeration to say that the whole orchestra is behind this performance; their immersion into Gipps' symphony has been moving and inspiring, and I feel that they love the work as intensely as I do. If desired, I will gladly send a follow-up regarding the performance and its reception!
    Very best regards,
    Adam Stern

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    1. Dear Adam,

      Thank YOU in turn for your comment, and for performing the symphony in the first place! I'm really glad to hear that it has captured the orchestra's heart, and that it's not just I but professional, accomplished musicians who agree that it is music of great beauty. I have read somewhere, I think in Jill Halstead's biography, that Ruth Gipps tried to write every individual instrument part so that it was interesting and enjoyable to play. Perhaps this is the reward, that the music wins over those who play it.

      I'd really love to hear how it goes – so yes please to a note afterwards, if you have a moment! The only frustration is that I can't be there as I am in London, while you are in Seattle... but that can't be helped, and I think it's better, in a way, that Ruth Gipps' name should be spread as widely as possible.

      With best intercontinental wishes for the concert (all the works, as well as the Gipps),

      Dominic

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  2. This is some wonder! What grace if so obviously very fine music be "discovered" also by others.

    Best wishes to all involved : - )

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    1. Thanks for your comment! When I first discovered Ruth Gipps I couldn't believe I'd never heard of her, and I think others making the same discovery have felt similarly. Swiftly on the heels of that feeling followed a sense of injustice, that for no good reason our musical culture is deprived of her work. However, I'm very hopeful that this concert in Seattle tonight will give a big jump-start to a Gipps revival. (There are some recordings of her work in existence, but very few performances, and her symphonies in particular are in urgent need of discovery).

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  3. Dear Dominic,

    Ruth Gipps' Symphony scored a decided triumph earlier today. The audience cheered it with genuine and rousing enthusiasm. I was so thankful for the orchestra's ultra-committed performance, and especially for the incredible gift Gipps has given to us.

    If this was any indication of the effect her music can have on first-time hearers, then her INEVITABLE revival (of which I fully intend to keep being a part) will bring a great deal of joy to a great many people.

    Ecstatically yours,

    Adam

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    1. Dear Adam,

      This is wonderful to hear! Surely this is the point of music, that it moves people and that they enjoy it! I must say I was altogether confident that Ruth Gipps' music would go down well with the audience, but I know it couldn't have been a success without a great deal of hard work on your part.

      Many thanks indeed to you and the whole orchestra for leading the vanguard in bringing my compatriot's music to light! I will certainly keep an eye on the Seattle Philharmonic from now on, as well as the unfolding Gipps revival...

      Happy Easter!

      Dominic

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