This is the website of Clement Jewitt, PhD: composer, writer, etc.


UPCOMING PERFORMANCES

Following the creation of a CD containing three of my string quartets, a number from that will be included in a concert by the Astaria String Quartet in Worcester on April 24th 2015, which will also involve singer Wendy Nieper.

 

70th BIRTHDAY CONCERT: October 28th 2012

with:

Astaria String Quartet   
Wendy Nieper 
Pavlova Wind Quintet    



Pieces played,  Programme order:

Last Invocation (Walt Whitman) *
And Not Another Man. Song cycle with string quartet (Marion Griffin)
Be Calm, Move Gently. String quartet - premiere
"But we must still be seeking?". Woodwind quintet
Three Hokku on Time (Composer's text)
That Which Was. String Quartet - premiere
Rumination (Richard Eberhart) *
The Coming of Light (Mark Strand) *
* From the extended song cycle The Night Sea, adapted for accompaniment by string quartet

Compilation of received comments with my own observations

It went splendidly well.  The Astaria String Quartet and the Pavlova Wind Quintet provided masterful musicianship, craftsmanship and sheer dedication:  I couldn't have expected more.  And Wendy Nieper, well, those who haven't heard her before are always astonished by her superbly felt singing, wide range and evenness across that range.  And contrary to the old joke, she's not just a singer, but a very discerning musician too.  She remarked to me on other contemporary music she has sung, that once you have the notes learnt, there often isn't anything else to hear, contrasting that with my songs, which, she said very gratifyingly, keep revealing deeper musical interest, and emotional content.  She is such a very busy professional, I feel quite humbled by how readily she agreed to sing for me.

Raymond Head, composer, conductor, all round experienced musician and long time colleague and friend in Chipping Norton, wrote to me: "... what a special night it was! I thought your pieces came over really well especially the wind quintet and string quartet. You were lucky with the performers too. They were a very committed bunch of musicians and had obviously worked hard on your pieces. I have to say that I think the string quartet was as near being a masterpiece as it is likely to get."  Not sure what he means exactly -- but something good !  Wendy commented on that "I think I might agree that the second half string quartet is close to a masterpiece.  It was truly wonderful."

On Wendy, Ray wrote: "I thought Wendy’s singing was great and I kept wondering why she sounded so different from the last time I heard her, so rich and deep in the lower register - and then you said she had married – therein lies the answer!!! The Two Songs from The Night Sea sounded better last night than before and And Not Another Man had some gorgeous harmonies in it."  She got married in September, and at the end of the concert we/I presented her with a card and a huge bunch of flowers (chosen by Ann Bardsley) in commemoration of that. The usually unfazed by anything Wendy looked delightfully embarrassed!

Sean Gilde, the cellist, wrote on behalf of the Astarias: "It was a real challenge for us to to get to grips with your music, but one that ultimately was very satisfying as there were so many wonderful textures and moods in all of the works.
Thank you for choosing to have us play and premier your compositions especially as you also introduced us to such a brilliant vocalist!"

Chris Britton, flute, wrote: "I thought it was a really lovely occasion - so much warmth in evidence. I thought the choice of venue very appropriate. The Jacqueline du Pre has the advantage of considerable intimacy."

Having recruited old friends Mike and Ann Bardsley to run the affair on the day, I could relax and so actually HEAR the music. I found myself several times astonished - how did I write that?  Hearing with an inner ear, not entirely conscious, while applying conscious compositional techniques, I guess. 

Several people contacted me beforehand to cry off owing to "coughing for England" (in the words of one) and so did not come.  What good friends I have - there was not a single cough or sneeze throughout the concert. The audience was not large, but very attentive, and very few were not already known to me, mostly old and new friends, and some of my children.   

Musicians: apart from Ray Head, mentioned above, Gilbert Biberian, formerly guitar prof at Trinity College was in the audience, who said "where did you get such splendid players?" He made a point of catching Wendy - I think there's something in the wind there.  And Bill Brookman, a multi instrumental musician (with clown skills too) who takes street theatre events into troubled regions of the world, like Haiti, using creativity as a balm, said, solemnly, "I am very, very impressed: we will come to the 100th."  About a third of the audience consisted of musicians - all very happy with the concert: not bad, huh!

CJ

 

RECENT PERFORMANCES

November 2009

Kingfisher Chorale presented Invocations to Archangels for the third time in a public concert, this time in Leicester, England, again conducted by Giles Turner.  A review appeared in the Leicester Mercury of 11th November. See 'reviews of' page

November 2008. Sacred Music Through the Ages

This concert on 1st November by the Kingfisher Chorale, conducted by Giles Turner in The Emmanuel Church, Loughborough, England, included the choral version of Invocations to Archangels. Other works were by William Byrd, J.S.Bach, Peter Crump and Arvo Paart. A review appeared in the Leicester Mercury of 6th November.

August 2008: radio broadcast

On the afternoon of Sunday 31st August, between 3 and 5 o'clock, I was interviewed  by Bernard Davis on South Birmingham Community Radio. The following of my music was played (see Compositions):

Come With Me (Milton Godfrey)
He Would Send Me Running (Marion Griffin)
Three Hokku on Time (composer's text)
With Your Own Light
The Last Invocation (Walt Whitman)


April 2008 … the Isle is Full of Music …

This full length concert, shared with friend and fellow composer Raymond Head, took place to great acclaim at the Holywell Music Room, Oxford on 20th April 2008, and at the Arena Foyer, Birmingham Conservatoire, on April 24th 2008.

The players were Wendy Nieper, soprano, Kirsten Johnson, piano & Christopher Britton, flute.

My songs performed with piano were:

Come With Me (Milton Godfrey)
He Would Send Me Running (Marion Griffin)
But a Part of it All (James Kavanaugh)
Save now we pray (bell hooks) premiere
The Harvest Bride (Christina Edwards) premiere
with flute alone:

Three Hokku on Time (composer's text) premiere
and four songs from The Night Sea, arranged for piano & two also with flute

The Last Invocation (Walt Whitman) - with flute
Rumination (Richard Eberhart) premiere
Skins 20 (Charles Wright) premiere
The Coming of Light (Mark Strand) premiere - with flute