Kubla Khan: For Contralto and Tenor Soli, Chorus, and Orchestra

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Oxford University Press, 2007 - Music - 40 pages
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This colourful and exotic setting of Samuel Taylor Coleridge's epic poem is a welcome addition to the English choral repertory. The absence of Rawsthorne's original orchestral score (destroyed in 1940 during a bombing raid) had, until 2007, prevented the performance of this extraordinary work. However, a new orchestration by Edward Harper (available on hire from Oxford University Press) has allowed Rawsthorne's dream-like evocation of an exotic land to take its rightful place on the concert platform.

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About the author (2007)

Alan Rawsthorne was born on 2 May 1905 at Haslingden, Lancashire. He studied piano, composition, and cello at the Royal Manchester College of Music, and continued his studies abroad with Egon Petri. Although he was not a prolific composer, his output was substantial. Notable among his post-war compositions are the two violin concertos; the Cello Concerto, commissioned by the Royal Philharmonic Society; the Second Piano Concerto - probably the most popular of his major works; three symphonies; the second and third string quartets; the sonatas for violin and piano, and cello and piano; the Quintet for Piano and Wind; the Quintet for Piano and Strings; and the Ballade for piano written for John Ogden. He also composed a good deal of incidental music for stage and film as well as a ballet for Covent Garden, Madame Chrysantheme. Rawsthorne died in Cambridge on 24 July 1971, but his elegant and beautifully crafted music continues to be enjoyed by both performers and listeners.

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