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Higgins continues to champion brass band music

Composer Gavin Higgins took the opportunity to champion brass bands once again at the world premiere of his latest major work at the Aldeburgh Festival.

Gavin Higgins
  Gavin Higgins cantata was premiered at the Aldeburgh Festival

Composer Gavin Higgins continues to champion brass band music as his latest major work gained widespread critical acclaim following its world premiere at the high profile Aldeburgh Festival at Snape Maltings.

His cantata, 'The Faerie Bride' was performed by the National Orchestra of Wales conducted by Martyn Brabbins.

Otherworldly

The 'spellbinding' tale was inspired by the Welsh legend of the 'Lady of the Lake' originally recorded in a 14th century manuscript, and was described as bringing an "otherworldly aura"that was "lyrical and highly atmospheric"by The Guardian's music critic Rhian Evans.

It saw the Forest of Dean composer once again link up with librettist Francesca Simon, whom he worked with for his acclaimed Covent Garden opera, 'The Monstrous Child'.

The premiere was broadcast live on Radio 3, where Gavin was interviewed by presenter Nicola Hayward Thomas.

Gripping

Asked about the forthcoming Proms premiere of his 'Concerto Gross for Orchestra and Brass Band' which will take place at the Royal Albert Hall on 8th August, featuring the National Orchestra of Wales and Tredegar Band, he said: "I feel extremely passionately about brass bands.

I think they are a very under-looked, under-valued, under-supported, integral part of our musical make-up in this country. The sound is so gripping, it does something to our British psyche."

He added: "There is a reason why brass playing in this country is so good, because brass bands provide free music education of the highest quality."

I think they are a very under-looked, under-valued, under-supported, integral part of our musical make-up in this country. The sound is so gripping, it does something to our British psycheGavin Higgins

Fall in love

Speaking about his association with Tredegar and the 'Concerto Grosso' he added: "They are just an amazing band, probably one the most amazing bands in the world actually. This piece has been a passion project and I think the 'Prommers' are just going to absolutely fall in love with them."

The interview concluded with an extended excerpt from Tredegar's performance of 'Diversions after Benjamin Britten'.

Listen:

https://www.bbc.co.uk/sounds/play/m00182ct

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