ANDREW DOWNES PUBLISHED
Soloist, choir and string orchestra, with piano duet and percussion:-
A SAINT LUKE PASSION Opus 50 (1992) 40'
The story of the death and resurrection of Christ set to music for baritone soloist, SATB choir, piano duet, percussion (2 players) and string orchestra.
Commissioned by the Wolverhampton Civic Choir for first performance on 3rd April 1993, with Brian Rayner Cook and the Orchestra da Camera, under the direction of David Hart.
'Two triumphant premieres in three days! After Thursday's success of his eloquent Third Symphony, Andrew Downes heard his deeply affecting St Luke Passion given on Saturday by the Wolverhampton Civic Choir (who commissioned it) in the elegant and accommodating Parish Church.
'Scored for string orchestra, percussion and piano duet, the work also calls for a baritone soloist singing the words of Christ.
'Brian Rayner Cook performed with gentle sincerity, quietly commanding in these grateful melodic lines. Many of Downes' well-loved fingerprints are here, not least the music circling round a note before coming to rest on it, and now, too, his recent, striking discovery of independent multi-tempi.
'... the music's drama as it progressed to a moving sense of exaltation touched us all.'
THE BIRMINGHAM POST
In November 1993 Andrew Downes was invited by the Crane Concert Choir of the University of New York to conduct them in the first American performance of this work. The choir has a tradition for inviting composers to conduct their works with them. Composers to be invited have included Samuel Barber and Aaron Copland.
Performed for the 10th anniversary of the Adrian Boult Hall, Birmingham by Bryan Rayner Cook with the Birmingham Conservatoire Choir and Orchestra conducted by Steven Lloyd.
'Judas Mercator Pessimus' and 'Tenebrae Factae
Sunt' from the work were performed at King's Chapel, Boston, Massachusetts, on
August 22nd 2006 by the Millennium Scholars directed by Paula Downes.
Soloist, choir and brass band:-
THE TEMPLE OF SOLOMON Opus 19 (1980) 15' View Score
Cantata for baritone solo, SATB choir and brass band. Sacred text compiled by Cynthia Downes from the First Book of Kings and the Second Book of Chronicles, describing the building of the first Temple in Jerusalem.
Commissioned by the Birmingham Festival Choral Society to commemorate the restoration of Birmingham Cathedral, and first performed by the choir with John King, baritone soloist, and the Birmingham Conservatoire Brass Band under the direction of Jeremy Patterson, on 29th November 1980. Performed at Birmingham Conservatoire in 1982 and again by the BFCS in 1990.
'...most impressive...a welcome addition to the repertory.'
THE MUSICAL TIMES
'It was enthusiastically received by the audience and it is hoped that the work can be repeated by other music societies.'
THE BRITISH BANDSMAN
'...music of grand occasion, written with dramatic point and a feeling for rich, near barbaric Old Testament colour.'
THE BIRMINGHAM POST
NEW DAWN An Oratorio in Two Parts Opus 70 (1999) 90' View Score
Oratorio for SATB soloists, SATB chorus and symphony orchestra including guitar ensemble.
Six movements: 'A Spirit is Departing'; 'Journey' (Orchestral Tone Poem); 'Awaiting Dawn' (Song for unaccompanied chorus); 'Summer Dawn'; 'Kitchi-Manitou'(Orchestral Tone Poem); 'Invocation'.
The texts are 19th century translations of traditional poetry from various tribes of North American Indians, predominantly of the New Mexico area. Together the poems form a story about the life-cycle of the Earth from the death to the re-birth of a soul. The Oratorio is a celebration of this natural cycle, and is dedicated to all those societies and individuals who are content to see themselves as part of Mother Earth, rather than seeking to own and, eventually, destroy her.
Commissioned by Birmingham Conservatoire to celebrate the coming of the year 2000. First performed on 18th February 2000 in the Adrian Boult Hall, Birmingham, by soloists Debbie Bennet (soprano), Louise Brownbill (alto), Tom Solomon (tenor), Lawrence Broomfield (baritone), the Birmingham Conservatoire Symphony Orchestra and the University of Central England Chorus conducted by Steven Lloyd.
'Andrew Downes... is a prolific composer as well as a popular Head of the Conservatoire's School of Composition and Creative Studies. His musical style which often embraces traits from non European cultures, has an appealing immediacy and considerable attractiveness. "It's very modern, but so beautiful", was a remark I heard during the interval. The performance was certainly a triumph...'
THE BIRMINGHAM POST
A video recording made of the first performance is available from Lynwood Music.
The second performance of this work took place in King's
College Chapel, Cambridge, on 27th October 2001. Soloists Paula
Downes, Timothy Mead, Richard Butler and William Gaunt with the
Millennium Scholars Chorus and Orchestra and the Birmingham
Conservatoire Guitar Ensemble were conducted by Stephen Cleobury.
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