Mason Bates on Philharmonia Fantastique

Friday, October 28, 2022

The American composer talks about his orchestral work and its exploration of the instruments of the orchestra

The American composer Mason Bates wrote Philharmonia Fantastique to a commission from a host of major US orchestras (Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Dallas Symphony Orchestra, National Symphony Orchestra, Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, San Francisco Symphony and the American Youth Symphony). It was recorded for Sony Classical by the Chicago SO under Edwin Outwater and released earlier this year. Now an animated film by Academy Award-winning sound designer Gary Rydstrom, and featuring the work of Jim Capobianco, has been made using the same soundtrack. (It will be available from November 4 to rent or purchase in 4K and surround-sound on the AppleTV app and to stream on Apple Music.)

Gramophone Podcasts are made in association with Wigmore Hall, sponsors of the 2022 Chamber Award. Full details of next week's concerts below.

Gramophone's Editor, Martin Cullingford, spoke to Mason Bates about the work and the new animated film.

You can listen to the Podcast below. To hear other Gramophone podcasts, or to subscribe for free to new editions, search for 'Gramophone' in your Podcast App of choice, or visit Gramophone's page on Apple Music podcasts.

Listen to Mason Bates's Philharmonia Fantastique in Spatial Audio on Apple Music and below

Wigmore Hall concerts for the week beginning October 28

Saturday, October 29 at 7.30pm
The distinguished American pianist Richard Goode gives a Beethoven recital comprising a selection of the Op 119 Bagatelles, the E major Piano Sonata, Op 109 and the Diabelli Variations.

Sunday, October 30 at 11.30am
There’s more Beethoven the following morning when the Piatti Quartet plays the First of the Razumovsky Quartets, Op 59 No 1. They follow it with Elgar’s String Quartet.

Sunday, October 30 at 7.30pm
Joshua Bell with pianist Peter Dugan play violin sonatas by Beethoven (the Op 12 No 2), Schumann (his Second, Op 121) and Debussy. And they end with Bartók’s Rhapsody No 1.

Monday, October 31 at 1pm & live streamed
The countertenor Tim Mead with cellist Jonathan Manson and harpsichordist Laurence Cummings performs cantatas and vocal works by Handel, Caldara, Bononcini and Alessandro Scarlatti.

Monday, October 31 at 7.30pm & Tuesday, November 1 at 7.30pm
Olli Mustonen plays the first of two recitals embracing the complete piano sonatas by Prokofiev – Nos 2, 4, 6 and 9 come first and the following evening, he gives us Nos 1, 3, 5, 7 and 8.

Tuesday, November 1 at 7.30pm
The French Quatuor Agate, prize winners at the international auditions of the Young Classical Artists Trust, playing quartets by Boccherini and Brahms, his B flat, Op 67.

Wednesday, November 3 at 1pm & Thursday, November 4 at 1pm
The soprano Roberta Alexander gives masterclasses to a new generation of singers.

Wednesday, November 3 at 7.30pm
The Novus Quartet, Korean protégés of the Belcea Quartet, play Mozart’s D minor Quartet, K421, Alban Berg’s Lyric Suite and Brahms’s C minor, Op 51 No 1.

Thursday, November 3 at 7.30pm
The violinist Isabelle Faust and viola-player Antoine Tamestit play duos that span the centuries – works by Jean de Sainte-Colombe, Mozart and György Kurtág.

Friday, November 4 at 10.15am & 11.45pm
Two Chamber Tots concerts for children ages 1 to 2, and 3-5.

Friday, November 4 at 3pm
A programme for people living with dementia and their friends, family and carers. The Kyan Quartet, musicians from the Royal Academy, play works by Haydn (his Bird Quartet), Fanny Mendelssohn (her E flat Quartet) and Jessie Montgomery’s Strum.

Friday, November 4 at 7.30pm
The musical week ends with Gramophone Award-winner Sabine Devieilhe with pianist Mathieu Pordoy in a programme of songs by Alban Berg, Mozart, Hugo Wolf and Richard Strauss.


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