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Aulos

Kalachakra (revised)

Bow-Wave

In January 2009 Bow-Wave opened the National Youth Orchestra’s Winter Tour, a new piece that was staged, played from memory, and included improvisation, the first time the NYO had presented such a piece in its main series.

The National Youth Orchestra’s concert was breathtakingly good. As the semi-improvised fruit of 10 days’ work, Bow-Wave was a remarkably successful evocation of the engine room of a big ship, moored in a harbour pullulating with life. Deploying plinks and whistles, thuds and scrapes and farts, the 163-member orchestra explored textures and colours with fine control, and even managed to give it dramatic shape.

The Independent, Michael Church

If any orchestra can melt an audience it’s the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain. Peter Wiegold’s Bow-Wave, created with the improvising youngsters in the ten days before the concert. Wiegold’s maritime journey from ship’s creaking hull through rippling accordion to deep breaths from the ocean floor tickled the ear well enough. The orchestra, directed by the composer, played victoriously from memory.

The Times, George Brown

(Berio’s) Sinfonia was preceded by an equally challenging piece, conducted and conceived for the NYO by Peter Wiegold. With the orchestra playing from memory, and configured unusually – an accordion player and violinist placed centre stage – Bow-Wave used waves of sound and movement in a beguiling way…the work achieved its own distinct impact. ★★★★

The Guardian, Rian Evans

But beyond this spectacle there was also evidence of the wonderful educational work NYO engenders, beginning with the extraordinary Bow-Wave by Peter Wiegold, under the composer’s direction. Prepared in a few days in collaboration with the musicians themselves, this proved a tour de force of performance, played from memory, expressively choreographed, and exploiting the additional strengths of the youngsters, not least cellist Alex Rolton’s accordion-playing. ★★★★★

Birmingham Evening Post, Christopher Morley

The opening piece, Bow Wave – a new composition by Peter Wiegold – saw the orchestra perform, from memory, a work they had developed and improvised with the composer over the course of their 10-day rehearsal. The soloists stood at the front of the stage, engaged in an electrifying musical duel as the line of violin players, choreographed to perfection, snapped their heads from left to right with a run of notes. There were amplified shouts from the trombone players and a gleefully mischievous moment with the double bass and cellos swinging on their end pins. Taken together, it created a sense of enthusiasm and daring experimentation that was one of the most exciting things I’ve seen on a London stage.

Camden New Journal, Tony Kiely

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2009
orchestra and soloists

The National Youth Orchestra’s concert was breathtakingly good. As the semi-improvised fruit of 10 days’ work, Bow-Wave was a remarkably successful evocation of the engine room of a big ship, moored in a harbour pullulating with life. Deploying plinks and whistles, thuds and scrapes and farts, the 163-member orchestra explored textures and colours with fine control, and even managed to give it dramatic shape.

The Independent, Michael Church

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