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Chandos release the new double CD of Sullivan songs on March 3rd.
I accompany Mary Bevan, Ben Johnson & Ashley Riches in a selection of Sullivan’s songs, including rarities like ‘I wish to tune my quiv’ring lyre’ (Byron), ‘Sweet Day’ (George Herbert) and the Tennyson song-cycle ‘The Window’. The song-cycle was a collaboration put together by Sir George Grove, between Tennyson, Sullivan & Sir John Everett Millais, who eventually withdrew from the project. The cover of the CD is a Millais picture only now noticed to be connected with it – an iconographical breakthrough causing much rejoicing in Yale, where it lives. You can see it here. It sums up the whole story of the cycle in one brilliant image.

Professor Anne Curry, Dean of Humanities at the University of Southampton, reports on the recent concert where some three hundred singers and players gave the fourth performance of my political piece Turning Points:

‘Congratulations to Professor David Owen Norris for inspiring and organising a splendid event in Winchester Cathedral on Saturday 4 February in aid of the Mayor of Winchester’s charities.

‘The event, performed to an audience which almost filled the whole cathedral, was a great example of community involvement, with the Hampshire County Youth Training Choice, Hampshire County Youth Band, Gosport and Fareham Youth Orchestra Strings, and Guitarists from the Hampshire Music Service performing alongside our excellent Southampton University Symphony Orchestra, the Waynflete Singers, George Castle, Assistant Director of Music at Winchester Cathedral, and professional soloists [Kimberley Raw, Mark Wilde, Ashley Riches].

‘The programme included Charlotte, Princess of Wales ‘Lord Wellington’s March’, which is to be found in the Wellington papers at the University of Southampton, Beethoven’s ‘Battle of Vittoria’, the Winchester Festival Fanfare written by Jock McKenzie, director of the Hampshire County Youth Band, and David Owen Norris’s own composition, Turning Points (2015).

Turning Points is a celebration of democracy with special references to the events of 1215 (Magna Carta), 1415 (Agincourt) and 1815 (Waterloo), commissioned in 2015 by Agincourt 600. But it brings in the Suffragettes (David had the whole audience singing a Suffragist song by Hubert Parry, ‘Keep on looking for the bright skies’), Martin Luther King, Abraham Lincoln and Malala.

‘I was delighted to be present at such a stimulating and excellent event. Thanks to David for all his energy and ability to bring people together in music, as well as demonstrating the impact of his own research, composition and conducting.

‘We are hoping to put Turning Points onto the Agincourt 600 website (soon to be hosted by the University) before too long so those not able to have heard it in Winchester or in its 2015 performances in Southampton and London will be able to hear it. We will also put up the beautifully chosen text.’

Click LyonTurningPoints for James Lyon’s write-up of the occasion.

2017 sees the launch of the Jupiter Project, comprising concerts, workshops, CD recordings and video, relating to the remarkable body of mid-nineteenth-century chamber-music arrangements of Mozart piano concertos, symphonies and overtures. More news as it develops.

Caroline and I thank you for your visit!

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