July 06, 2015
Aurora Orchestra returns to the Proms with a bold programme and world premiere
The musicians of the Aurora Orchestra made headlines at last year's Proms when they performed Mozart's Symphony No.40 entirely from memory - a rare feat for any orchestra.
The dynamic young British ensemble takes up the challenge again at the 2015 Proms, this time with Beethoven's Pastoral symphony. And with their usual flair for programming twists and juxtaposing classical and contemporary, this Romantic masterpiece will be coupled with a very different Pastoral Symphony by Australian composer Brett Dean, himself a violist who played in the Berlin Philharmonic for many years.
Dean describes the work as a meditation on "glorious birdsong, the threat that it faces, the loss, and the soulless noise that we're left with when the birds are all gone". It will appear on the Aurora Orchestra's new album Insomnia, an eclectic and thoughtful collection of music about night, sleep, dreams and the hazy moments between slumber and awaking.
Slated for release on 31 July, Insomnia roams from the Baroque (F. Couperin's Mysterious Barricades in an arrangement by Thomas Adès) to modern masters (Ivor Gurney's song cycle Sleep, with tenor Allan Clayton) and György Ligeti’s unique and rarely performed Poème symphonique written for 100 ticking metronomes. Two pop songs by The Beatles and R.E.M. round out the album in soaring orchestral arrangements: here is an ensemble that's not afraid to dream.
The Proms concert on 2 August also features a world premiere BBC commission, Smatter Hauler by young composer Anna Meredith.
Insomnia is out 31 July on Warner Classics. The Aurora Orchestra perform at the BBC Proms on 2 August.