The series does not attempt to offer a systematic anthology of Flemish music. In loose chronological order the collection primarily presents scores of symphonic works along with operas, previously unavailable or unpublished. Our aim is to make these works accessible for conductors, musicians, artistic directors, libraries and other interested people and to encourage their performance. Original material has been kindly provided by ‘Studiencentrum voor Vlaamse Muziek’ represented by Jan Dewilde. Without his contribution the project would have been impossible to realise, we are indebted to Jan Dewilde’s work as research coordinator, advisor and author. Every publication includes an original preface with information on the piece and composer as well as a bibliography. The original Flemish is translated into German and English.
A life-long musician, Phillip Brookes spent 30 years as Civil Servant being forced to retire after a stroke. He played percussion in many ensembles and conducted five orchestras; he has composed music since his youth. He began writing prefaces for Repertoire Explorer in 2004 and it soon became apparent that his eclectic and profoundly idiosyncratic musical knowledge might be best used in his own series. There is no pattern to it. Here is unfamiliar music by familiar composers, well known music about which there is still something interesting to be said, unexpected works by forgotten composers; much is in newly edited editions, and there is a growing number of original compositions. A major theme has been the personal stories behind the works, in particular the individual composers’ motivations to write at all. Much of the music is from Britain, including the complete surviving works of George Butterworth (1885-1916), but there are interesting works from Europe, North America and Australia. Highlights of the series have so far been Butterworth’s Songs from A Shropshire Lad (performed at the BBC Proms in 2014) and Hubert Parry’s Suite from The Birds (broadcast by the BBC and recorded by Chandos). Volumes have appeared at a rate of 7-8 a year.
John Foulds is, to my mind, perhaps the greatest twentieth-century composer of genius to be entirely ignored, not only in England, but altogether. His wholly original music exudes freedom, lightness, immediacy, and a joy of discovery capable of touching and thrilling the listener in a unique way. Foulds was at once a pioneer, a true adventurer, a comprehensive master of form, a vivacious practicing musician as a conductor, cellist, and pianist, an insatiable explorer, a prime example of unlimited stylistic versatility, a tireless innovator, and the possessor of a critical and free-thinking mind. Above all he was a man who always strove for the utmost while remaining ever cognizant of his human inadequacy. This lent him a natural modesty and enabled him to come closer and closer to his actual goal of reaching absolute freedom, of being an “enlightened one.” He found the crucial elements for his quest in Eastern culture, as handed down by the “masters of wisdom” in Central Asia and India, and sought to combine them with constructive elements of Western culture to fashion a higher unity. None of the personal setbacks and the tragic sides of his life are imposed on the listeners of his music, which invariably speaks a warm-hearted, unsentimental, and authentic language. Christoph Schlüren, Munich 2015
Exploring Norwegian Music
Expanding more and more into the regions of substantial contemporary music, Repertoire Explorer started a new collaboration that may pave the way into a broader research of great music of our time emerging apart of the mainstream trends.
The basque violinist-composer Ricardo Odriozola lives and teaches in Bergen, Norway, since 1987. He soon became a close companion of the late Harald Sæverud, Norway’s leading symphonist of the 20th century. Being a curious researcher by nature, he established close friendships with many composer and performer colleagues and got an incomparable insight into the world of contemporary Western Norwegian music and is considered being an unquestionable authority in this field today. Interestingly Odriozola is far ahead of just being another insider who specialized in a local field – as a person coming from outside with a large horizon of experiences in many fields he understands his task from a wide perspective. The music he discovered is of a global significance, and some of the composers – f. ex. Ketil Hvoslef belong to the leading creators of our time.
The edition started in May 2016 with a profound study on five leading composers of the Bergen area: Ricardo Odriozola’s groundbreaking book ‚Opus perseverat‘. Five Composers from Western Norway’ explores in a very personal way the creative worlds of Harald Sæverud, Edvard Hagerup Bull, Ketil Hvoslef, Magnar Åm, and Kenneth Sivertsen. The book also comprises complete lists of works and recordings and many music examples.
The Norwegian sheet music edition, meticulously prepared for print by Odriozola, starts with Edvard Hagerup Bull’s challenging first Duo for violin and piano, and the first string quartet by Odriozola himself. Works by Hvoslef and others will follow in the course of the next months.
Konstantia Gourzi (b. 1962, Athens) is not only one of the most remarkable composers of our time. She is a leading conductoress and a professor for interpretation of contemporary music at the Munich Hochschule für Musik und Theater as well. The Lucerne Festival commissioned a new work from her of which she conducted the première with the Lucerne Festival Academy Orchestra in 2016. She is one of the main driving forces of the Munich contemporary music scene, particularly supporting the young generation, and she works internationally with orchestras and chamber ensembles. While studying in Berlin in the 1990s she collaborated closely with György Kurtág for many years. As a composer she intermingles elements of traditional music and contemporary stylistic and technical means in an organic way transcending habitual antagonisms to achieve an indivisible and timeless unity. The language of her music is refined and unconventional but completely unpretentious, speaking a purely human language that flows tenderly and powerfully from heart to heart.
The Romanian Music Collection comprised of symphonic, chamber and vocal music, aims to bring Romanian composers to a wider international audience through their fascinating and sometimes lesser-known works. The selection includes opuses from different historical periods, starting from the beginning of classical music in Romania – including folklore inspired works –, through the very diverse XX century, until the young composers of today. In publishing the scores no historical, stylistical, aesthetical or genre related perspective has been followed, but rather a kaleidoscopic view which reflects the variety of Romanian music of yesterday and of today
Colecția de muzică românească are scopul de a aduce în circulație opusuri valoroase din muzica românească simfonică, de cameră și vocală, prea puțin sau deloc cunoscute pe plan internațional. Selecția acoperă lucrări din diferite perioade, de la începuturile muzici culte în România, trecând prin bogatul secol XX și până la tinerii compozitori de astăzi, incluzând și piese inspirate sau transcrise din folclor. Lucrările publicate nu au o ordine anume (în sensul urmăririi unei ordini istorice, stilistice, estetice sau ce ține de gen), ci sunt alese mai degrabă caleidoscopic pentru a oferi o imagine a varietății muzicii românești de ieri și de astăzi.
This collection is created by the composer, violinist and teacher Dan Ţurcanu. The works published here are generally oriented towards string instruments (solo, chamber music or large ensembles). In this collection there are five sections of music works: Educational Collection, Chinese Collection, Arabic Collection, Ballet Class Music Collection and Romanian Collection.
Educational Collection – Educational books and methods aimed to help beginner players in the critical early stages of instrumental learning. Through skilled arrangements and simplifications of famous pieces as well as personal compositions, these books hope to create efficient learning from the very beginning and for students to have most enjoyable lessons.
Chinese Collection – Traditional Chinese music originally written for Erhu or other Chinese instruments is skillfully “translated” and rewritten for Western instruments and ensembles. At the same time, Western classical music is adapted to Chinese traditional instruments and ensembles. The aim of this collection is to strengthen the cultural bridge between the two music worlds by creating high quality scores that reflect the authenticity of Chinese music.
Arabic Collection– Traditional music from the Arab world is rewritten and adapted for Western instruments. In his effort to save and share the greatest Arabic scores, the author is targeting traditional, Classical and modern Arabic composers.
Ballet Class Music Collection – In collaboration with highly experienced ballet piano players, various arrangements and adaptations of classical, traditional folk music and original compositions are dedicated for ballet class pianists.
Romanian Collection – Together with fellow composer Lucian Beschiu, Dan Ţurcanu strives to save and share classical Romanian compositions and also to share personal compositions ranging from solo instruments to symphonic orchestras with professional musicians.“