Highbury Fields

Inglis, Brian ORCID logoORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0003-0662-4693 (2015) Highbury Fields. [Composition]


In February 2012 I was offered a commission by the Islington Choral Society for performance at their 40th anniversary concert at Cadogan Hall in 2013. This choir, while unauditioned, has a commitment to new music manifested in previous commissions from Sarah Rodgers and Will May. Preliminary discussions with choir committee member Paul Dornan – a professional writer – revealed that the lyricist Charles Hart was keen to write the text for this 20’ work for choir and orchestra. As he comes predominantly from a musical theatre background (credits include Phantom of the Opera and Bend it like Beckham), collaborating with Hart on the project presented a particularly interesting research context, inviting an element of cross-genre collaboration as well as the specific and exacting requirements of writing for a large amateur choir. This cross-genre element marks a development of my existing work in the area of music for amateur choirs. An element of the commission brief – as expounded by Dornan – and a consequence of the collaboration with Hart was that the scenario and text be secular and relevant to contemporary urban experience. The commissioners were keen to avoid the overwhelmingly religious bias of much contemporary choral music, which is over-reliant on repeated settings of the same historic Latin texts designed for use in formal liturgies which even many modern churches have long since abandoned. The reference point for the text emerged as Eliot’s The Waste Land, and the musical corollary became an updating of the concept behind Orff’s Carmina Burana (one of the few secular works in the choral repertoire) to create a new choral showpiece for the 20th century, seeking to create and contribute to a new (or newly revived) choral tradition.

Item Type: Composition
Additional Information: First performance:

30th June 2013, Cadogan Hall, London.
Islington Choral Society, Camden Chamber Orchestra/Michael Bowden

Commissioned by the Islington Choral Society in celebration of their 40th anniversary.

Words by Charles Hart

Published September 2015
Duration: 22-23'
Research Areas: A. > School of Media and Performing Arts > Performing Arts
Item ID: 17537
Depositing User: Brian Inglis
Date Deposited: 23 Sep 2015 09:15
Last Modified: 21 Aug 2019 11:37
URI: https://eprints.mdx.ac.uk/id/eprint/17537

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