Purcell Room at Queen Elizabeth Hall
Jacques Cohen: Beginnings & Endings (World Première)
Jean Sibelius: Romance in C
Zakia Fawcett: Lost in this Moment (World Première)
Marcus Paus: Love’s Last Rites (UK Première)
Jacques Cohen: Love Journeys for soprano and strings
Jacques Cohen: For Angel (World Première)
Arnold Schoenberg: Transfigured Night
The Cohen Ensemble
Marie Vassiliou, Soprano
Jacques Cohen, Conductor
The Cohen Ensemble returns to Southbank Centre for the first time under its new name with a string orchestra programme based around the theme of love and transformation featuring three world premières.
Sibelius’s classic Romance is framed by two of these, Jacques Cohen’s Beginnings and Endings and Lost in this Moment by 19 year-old Scottish composer, Zakia Fawcett. The two new pieces are partly inspired by Sibelius and the whole triptych is played seamlessly without a break.
For Angel commemorates the violinist David Angel who passed away last year. Best known as the 2nd violin of the Maggini Quartet, David led the 2nd violins in the Cohen Ensemble for many years and made a huge impact on music-making in this country both as a performer and pedagogue. Based around his initials (DEA) this piece exploits these open strings of the violin whilst the absent principal 2nd violinist (whose chair remains empty throughout) is eventually heard off-stage.
Love Journeys, first performed at Southbank centre in 2014, is a setting for soprano and strings of poems by James Joyce from a series entitled Chamber Music. The piece follows the progress of a young love affair that begins in Spring amid the resplendent Irish countryside and ends in late Autumn out at sea.
The evening concludes with Schoenberg’s Transfigured Night. Based on a poem by Richard Dehmel and written at the height of Schoenberg’s emotionally charged early Romantic period, it describes both the physical and emotional journey of a couple following a dramatic revelation.