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News - World Premiere: Ghost Songs by Gary Carpenter

Friday, November 23, 2018
Ghost Songs, a new work for orchestra and youth choir by British composer Gary Carpenter, will receive its world premiere on Friday November 23, 2018. It is commissioned by the Royal Scottish National Orchestra, City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra and the Basque National Orchestra of San Sebastian.

Composed in six parts – 1) ‘Dawn and Twilight’, 2) ‘The Ghost’, 3) ‘On Some Ghostly Companions At A Spa’, 4) ‘Annie Honey’, 5) ‘The Wee Wee Man’ and 6) ‘All Souls' Eve’ – Carpenter has chosen texts by poets including Marion Angus and Robert Louis Stevenson as well as an anonymous poet. He explains the choice of text in his programme note:

‘The world of Marion Angus: ghosts, twilight, folk memory, music, mythology and legend. Her poems are direct, often wistful, certainly plangent, and imbued with a gentle, pantheistic mysticism. In setting them, I sought to explore the intersection between waking and sleeping, night and day, nature and super nature. By contrast, Robert Louis Stevenson’s poem is a biting critique of fellow guests at a spa (a rhyming ‘hell is other people’!) whilst the anonymous poem (one of Child’s Ballads) tells of a vertically challenged fellow with unpredictable superpowers.’

The piece marks the 40th anniversary of the RSNO Junior Chorus who will present Ghost Songs with the Royal Scottish National Orchestra and conductor Thomas Søndergård. It will premiere at the Usher Hall in Edinburgh before travelling to the Glasgow Royal Concert Hall on Saturday, November 24 and to the Liverpool Philharmonic Hall in February 2019. Further performances are to be announced.


23 November 2018
Royal Scottish National Orchestra
RSNO Junior Chorus
Thomas Søndergård, conductor
Usher Hall, Edinburgh
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24 November 2018
Royal Scottish National Orchestra
RSNO Junior Chorus
Thomas Søndergård, conductor
Glasgow Royal Concert Hall
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16 February 2019
Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra
Liverpool Philharmonic Children's and Youth Choirs
Michael Seal, conductor
Liverpool Philharmonic Hall
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