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Benedict Mason at the Proms

Not only is it hard to describe Benedict Mason’s Meld, which was given it’s first performance on the late night Prom given by the Aurora Orchestra and the choral group Chantage, conducted by Nicholas Collon, on August 16, it’s hard even beginning to think about how to describe it. All of the advance notices of the concert were particularly, and unusually, vague about the details of the work, and even the program claimed to be not at liberty to divulge much information about it. In the concert itself, which began with the Mozart 40th Symphony (played from memory)…

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Categories: Benedict Mason

Memories of Max

Peter Maxwell Davies died about two months ago. I started writing this the week that Max died,
but was unable to finish it before now.

I met Max Davies in 1973 at Tanglewood. I had graduated from New England Conservatory in
the spring. I had failed to get into any graduate school, which was a sort of minor scandal at
NEC. Gunther Schuller was president of the conservatory and also ran Tanglewood, so I got
into Tangelwood as the booby prize. Max was the big composer who was there most of the
summer. When we met I showed him my music and told him my sad story. Later when…

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BBC Proms—Boulez, Grime, Mason

One of the major threads of the programming of the 2015 Proms concerts was the 90th birthday of Pierre Boulez. This commemoration is both testimony to the importance of Boulez to the music of the second half of the twentieth century, and also to his importance in the history of the BBC and to the Proms.

The Prom on August 12 situated a major work of Boulez, Figures – Doubles – Prismes in the context of two of his musical forebears, Ravel and Stravinsky. On August 26, in the concert which was the Proms debut of the SWR Symphony Orchestra Baden-Baden, another…

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