Ronald Corp

Conductor & Composer


2012

2012 was notable for three major recording sessions of music by Ronald Corp and the publication in the summer of the choral disc, Things I didn’t say (Stone Records), also available from iTunes.  Some of the highlights of the year are below.

Kaleidoscope

This ‘cantata’ of fourteen songs for children was performed at Fairfield Halls, Croydon on 2, 5 and 6 March, 2012 by Bromley Schools and conducted by Jessica Rabin for the Bromley Youth Music Trust.  The best known songs are ‘When Icicles Hang by the Wall’ and ‘The Owl and the Pussycat’.   Video  (‘The Owl and the Pussycat’ sung by Mark Stone)  Score  Programme Notes

Songs of the Elder Sisters

Songs of the Elder Sisters (from the Therigatha) is scored for mezzo-soprano, baritone, alto flute, clarinet and viola.  It was recorded in February 2012 with Sarah Castle (mezzo-soprano) and Sam Evans (baritone), Jill Nolan (alto flute), Sarah Thurlow (clarinet) and Rachel Bolt (viola).   CD  Excerpts  Score    Programme Notes

Dhammapada

On 5 May, as part of Brighton Fringe Festival, The London Chorus gave the second performance of Dhammapada in its version for full chorus.  The venue was the lofty church of St. Bartholomew in central Brighton.   CD  Excerpts  Video  Score  Reviews  Programme Notes  Concert Archive  Press Release

Flower of Cities

The cycle of songs around the theme of ‘London’ was performed by Jonathan Sells and William Vann as part of the London English Song Festival on Sunday 13 May.   CD  Excerpts  Score  Programme Notes  Concert Archive

The Yellow Wallpaper
Clarinet Quintet ‘Crawhall’
String Quartet No. 3

These three recent works were recorded between 15-17 May at St. Silas the Martyr, Kentish Town, London NW5.

The Yellow Wallpaper is a scena for mezzo-soprano and string quintet: double bass player John Tattersdill teamed up with the Maggini Quartet to accompany Rebecca de Pont Davies in this adaptation of the short story by Charlotte Perkins Gilman.  The score sees Corp at his most dissonant and expressionist as the music reflects the protagonist’s anguish and enforced isolation.   Score  Libretto  Programme Notes

Clarinet virtuoso Andrew Marriner joined forces with the Maggini Quartet for a recording of this lyrical, quirky and quintessentially ‘English’ work inspired by the varied activities of the engraver and polymath, Joseph Crawhall II.   Score  Programme Notes

String Quartet No. 3 is shorter in span and lighter in mood than the first two Quartets: the first movement sees the composer’s post-minimalist sensibility embracing English pastoral traditions while the good-humoured finale has a jokey starting-and-stopping motif that nods towards the spirit of Haydn.   Score & Programme Notes

This Sceptr’d Isle

In celebration of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee, This Sceptr’d Isle was sung by Highgate Choral Society with the New London Orchestra on 9 June at the Barbican.  A setting of John of Gaunt’s speech from Act II. Sc. i of Shakespeare’s Richard II, the uplifting score is replete with surging sea imagery and fanfares for four trumpets.    Listen  Programme Notes  Concert Archive

Lullaby for a Lost Soul

‘Dark, stark and abstract poetry’ by Francis Booth about loss, death, anxiety and helplessness, to a setting for countertenor, vibraphone, flute and cello by Ronald Corp, mixing his own music with re-imaginings of the melancholy music of John Dowland.

The recording features Magid El-Bushra (countertenor), Jill Carter (flute), Matthew Turner (vibraphone) and Julia Desbruslais (cello), and took place at St. Silas the Martyr, Kentish Town in north London in September, 2012.  CD  Excerpts  Score  Programme Notes

Cantilena and Scherzo

This string orchestral arrangement of the middle movement of String Quartet No. 3 was premiered on 19th October at Stratford Circus.  Comprising a motoric, triple-time scherzo embedded in a peaceful and melodic slow movement, the work was played alongside other music for strings by Pärt, Glass, Britten, Barber, Bartók and Max Richter.  The strings of the New London Orchestra were conducted by Ronald Corp in this strikingly original programme before a capacity audience.   Score

Wihan String Quartet

Following their première of the Third String Quartet in 2011, the renowned Quartet from the Czech Republic gave two further performances in Nottingham and Truro in November.  The latter (on 16th) was under the aegis of the Truro Three Arts Society, the programme being:

Ronald Corp: String Quartet No. 3  (2011)
Dvořák: String Quartet in F Op. 96 ‘American’
Beethoven: String Quartet No. 14 in C# minor Op. 131

The Music of Browning

To celebrate the bicentennial of Robert Browning’s birth, a recital was given of settings of his poetry by British and American composers.  Repeating their 2011 concert, ‘A Robert Browning Songbook‘, Robert Presley, baritone, and Andrew Robinson, piano, gave the second performance of The Music of Browning (a set of five songs) at St. John’s, Fulham, London SW6 on Sunday 18 November.  The other featured work in the programme was Arthur Sommervell’s A Broken Arc.   Score  Programme Notes  Concert Archive (2011)

A Christmas Mass

As part of an Advent Concert on Saturday 1 December, The Fletching Singers performed this work at St. Wilfrid’s, Hayward’s Heath, Sussex.  Other works in the programme were:

Rachmaninov: Bogoroditse Devo
Byrd: O magnum mysterium & Beata Virgo
Victoria: Magi viderunt stellam

CD  Excerpts  Score  Programme Notes  Reviews (CD)

2012The cover of Things I didn’t say which came out on Stone Records in the summer.  A varied disc of a cappella choral works and accompanied anthems besides the substantial title work.

Programme Notes (title work)

Excerpts from all the pieces on the disc,
Things I didn’t say, in iTunes

 

2012_01

The cover of Francis Booth’s translation of Songs of the Elder Sisters.

Listen to Wordsworth’s ‘Sonnet Composed upon The cover of Francis Booth’s translation of Songs of the Elder SistersWestminster Bridge’ from Flower of Cities performed by Mark Stone and Simon Lepper. Score