Aldeburgh Festival Ensemble Oliver Knussen conductor Pierre-Laurent Aimard, Tamara Stefanovich piano Claire Booth soprano, narrator Feldman Mary Anne’s Theme Debussy arr. Boulez Chansons de Bilitis Harrison Birtwistle Three Songs from The Holy Forest 1. The Literalist 2. dear dusty moth 3. The Borrower (UK premiere of complete work) Vassos Nicolaou Frames for piano duet (UK premiere) Bartok, Dukas, Goosens, Malipiero and Stravinsky works from Le Tombeau de Debussy Birtwistle Keyboard Engine, Construction for Two Pianos (Aldeburgh Festival commission, world premiere) In his eighties Harrison Birtwistle is as uncompromising, poetic and provocative as ever, and any new work from him commands attention. This concert has two, performed by close friends and collaborators: a major two-piano work written for Tamara Stefanovich and Pierre-Laurent Aimard, and the first British performance of Three Moth Songs, settings of the poetry of the eminent American Robin Blaser. Oliver Knussen (dedicatee of one of these songs) directs a hand-picked ensemble. There’s also new music by Vassos Nicolaou (a wedding gift for the Aimard-Stefanovich duo) and two rarities; Debussy’s narrated mini-drama sets prose-poems to music of ravishing sensuality, and a rarely-heard collection of tributes compiled to mark Debussy’s death 100 years ago yields alluring piano miniatures from no less than Bartok and Stravinsky amongst others. Britten Studio

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