Many thanks to those who have expressed an interest in the composer and this site. If any news comes to your ears, please let me know at . Note that to avoid spam-deletion, please add a helpful subject header to e-mails.
Deepest apologies. Missed an e-mail reporting the broadcast of 'From Clonmel to Calcutta the untold story of Maud MacCarthy' which was communicated to me in May. Created and produced by Karishmeh Felfeli, this documentary (produced with support from Broadcasting Authority of Ireland, for community radio Dublin City FM) features contributions from Neil Sorrell, Jaime Jones (an ethnomusicologist based in Dublin) and Josephine Gannon, Maud and Foulds's grand-daughter. Unfortunately it is no longer available and further information has since disappeared.I'd welcome any report or review of the programme to add to the site.
A rare treat! Foulds's calling card, the perennial favourite, Keltic Lament, has been published this year by Sky Dance Press courtesy of the efforts of Raymond Head. This is the arrangement made by Foulds for cello and piano, and its melodic simplicity makes it a perfect choice for performers (and accompanists) of all abilities. It is available to buy from Mr Head's website here.
Dutton Vocalion has finally released its recording of the Fould Cello Concerto, paired surprisingly with a 1999 concerto by Lional Sainsbury. Raphael Wallfisch has performed the concerto once before in 1988 (broadcast by the BBC) so this commercial recording is a long time in coming. Ref: Dutton Epoch CDLX 7284.
[2011.07.05 and 2011.09.26]
News from Malcolm Macdonald via Facebook (2011.07.05) is that 'Dutton Vocalion recorded John Foulds's Cello Concerto in Poole last Thursday [2011.06.30] with Raphael Wallfisch. Probably to be released in November; we don't know what the coupling will be yet (not Foulds). A third disc of Foulds 'Light Music' is being actively discussed but not yet confirmed.' With Michael Schlechtriem's recording for Toccata Classics still lost to a vanishing engineer, this could be the surest chance yet of getting the work out there, but although rumour had it that Dutton would release the recording in February, their website remains silent. Then, on 2011.09.26, '...on 22 September [2011.09.22] in Mikkeli, Finland the conductor/musicologist Christoph Schlueren conducted two performances of Foulds's 'Lento Quieto' in an arrangement for string orchestra with the St Michael Strings. Second performance was an encore! The concert was dedicated to the memory of Troy Davis, executed last week in the USA.'
Dutton Epoch has sneaked out two releases packed 100% with Foulds orchestral works, outwardly of light orchestral style (short, melodic, gently evocative tone poem movements) that anyone might appreciate, but including quality works (volume 2 is by far the more diverse) that have previously lacked recordings or modern performance. Both discs are performed with the aplomb the BBC Concert Orchestra can be relied upon. See Dutton's releases CDLX 7252 and CDLX 7260.
The Boston Modern Orchestra Project presents a concert next year (2011.05.27) titled 'Sangita: The spirit of India', including works by Peter Child, Vineet Shende and Evan Ziporyn, but ending with Foulds's fiendishly difficult Three Mantras. Details on their website here. Gil Rose conducting the Boston Modern Orchestra Project (BMOP)
There are two concerts in this year's Proms (Promenade Concerts 2010) that feature music by John Foulds:
6th August 2010, Prom 27: April-England, with Strauss's Ein Heldenleben
and Beethoven's Piano concerto no.3, by the Hallé Orchestra with Mark
Elder (Paul Lewis, piano)
Tuesday 3rd August 2010, Prom 23: Dynamic Triptych (Ashley Wass, piano), with music from Vaughan Williams and Elgar, by the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra with Donald Runnicles.
It has been drawn to my attention that the papers of Maud MacCarthy have been transferred to York University, with a significant portion attributed to Foulds. At first advised this in confidence, it appears the information is now in the public domain.
* Papers: http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/accessions/2008/08returns/08ac193.htm
Relevant detail from 'Borthwick Institute for Archives: 2008 Accessions' page: John Foulds, composer: personal papers 1890-1939 (ACC51/2008) ... Maud MacCarthy, violinist and writer: personal papers 1890-2002 (ACC 51/2008)
* Institution: http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/archon/searches/locresult_details.asp?LR=193
Relevant detail: 'Borthwick Institute for Archives: University of York': University of York, Heslington, York, YO10 5DD, England. Tel: 01904 321166. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Website: http://www.york.ac.uk/borthwick.
* Institution website: http://www.york.ac.uk/inst/bihr/
The Borthwick's archive searchrooms are open Monday to Friday 9.15am - 4.45pm. To contact the searchrooms ring (01904) 321166. Document issue times are 9.45, 10.45, 11.45, 1.45, 2.45 and 3.45. If you wish to pre-order material so it is available on your arrival you will need to do so before 3.45 pm on the previous working day, or if you are planning to arrive over lunch time and would like material available on your arrival you will need to contact us by 11.45 am. [It looks like contact in advance is very much advisable to ensure a successful visit.]
The BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra are to include April-England in their concert of Thursday 11 February 2010 (7.30pm) in the Grand Hall of City Halls, Glasgow. Other works programmed are: Britten - Four Sea Interludes from Peter Grimes; Thea Musgrave - Songs for a Winter's Evening (Lisa Milne - soprano); Elgar: Enigma Variations. Later note (2010.02.15): a late change of conductor saw Martin André taking on the programme as advertised. Word is that a radio broadcast is expected in the future.
April-England is to be performed by the CBSO Youth Orchestra - programmed with Elgar's 'Cello Concerto' and Walton's 'Symphony No.1' on Sunday 21 February 2010 at Symphony Hall. Book via http://www.cbso.co.uk, and for more information on the orchestra see http://www.cbsoyouthorchestra.com.
With the somewhat muted 50th anniversary of his death now over, 2010 heralds, for some, a more important hurdle: for those who operate under copyright laws that dictate that all works published during an artist's lifetime are in copyright until 70 years after his/their death(s), this year marks the point at which said works are now free from that restriction. Anyone with shabby copies of works published, for example, by Paxton, and even their recordings, can now share these gems with the world at large and perform them with impunity. Of course one must own the original, or as an alternative, must re-typeset. Unfortunately for Foulds, many of his more serious works are not published, and the manuscripts are still in copyright. If any reader of this website can supply scans or photocopies of their own copies of sheet music to me I will gratefully be able to share them from the site. Alternatively, there are a number of aggregate websites out there that will host and distribute out of copyright music. The more people who have access to even the slightest of the repertoire the better.
'Directions in Musical Research' series of IMR [Institute of Musical Research]
Seminars, given at Senate House, Malet Street, London
27 November  (Room NG14) Neil Sorrell (York)
Chair: Sophie Fuller (Trinity Laban)
The Woman in Front of the Man: Assessing Maud MacCarthy's Influence on John Foulds and the Globalisation of Indian Music
University of York music events:
Research Seminar: Neil Sorrell
Dec 10  | 16:00 | 107
Neil Sorrell from the University of York presents 'In front of every great man? Maud MacCarthy, John Foulds and the promotion of Indian music'.
Malcolm Macdonald kindly reports: a first performance since 1920 of the 2 Songs in 'Sacrifice' for soprano and string quintet, op.66 (from Tagore's play 'Sacrifice'), taking place in Toronto on 20/21 of this month. The following is from Mary McGeer, director of the Talisker Players:
"There are two performances of the concert - Tuesday & Wednesday, November 20 & 21, 8 p.m. at Trinity St. Paul's Centre, 427 Bloor Street West in Toronto."
"The programme is titled "The Harp of Fire". It consists of
settings of Tagore poetry for solo voice with a variety of instrumental accompaniments.
Composers include (in addition to Foulds) Mikhail Ippolitov-Ivanov, Andre Caplet,
Arthur Shepherd, Frank Bridge, Naresh Sohal, and Tagore himself (4 of his songs
in arrangements by Suddhaseel Sen, a young composer currently
working in Toronto). The vocal soloists are Zorana Sadiq, soprano and Krisztina Szabo, mezzo soprano. The instrumentalists are members of Talisker Players. There are details on our website, www.taliskerplayers.ca."
Someone (sneakily?) filmed a little of the Albert Hall performance of Foulds'
World Requiem and posted it to YouTube. The clip may not be there for long and
cannot be downloaded.
Just a quick note to follow the simply HUGE performance in the Albert Hall of the Foulds World Requiem. On a personal note I was somewhere off behind the first violins, squinting at the music, taking a few (non-flash) photos of the place and reading the great little programme. I was disappointed to have missed Malcolm Macdonald's pre-concert talk, but hugely excited to learn that not only was the performance broadcast on Radio 3 (and it may still be listenable on the BBC's website) but also that Chandos is to release it at the beginning of next year. Let's hope their SACD hybrid disc does not contain the surround-sound coughing that November's weather brought down. The BBC has a mini-site for Foulds here. Apologies for not posting the broadcast details for the Requiem before performance - it had to do with my web program suddenly causing the good old Blue Screen Of Death which has since disappeared as mysteriously as it manifested. Perhaps in time for January 2nd's release I shall have a WORKS update for the Requiem to join that of the Quartetto Intimo. Any comments, memories, etc. do feel free to e-mail me.
Site updates! I have been through many of the site's pages and made various updates and corrections in the form of copyright information, BMIC catalogue, and Foulds champions. Navigation of the British Library manuscripts section should be easier. And finally, the first work to be added to the WORKS list, featuring various details on the Quartetto intimo and even a downloadable live performance courtesy of the Turina Quartett. It really has been a long time in coming, but I hope to add more works in future. Much of the final delay has been in working out where I stand in terms of copyright. Perhaps the next item should be the Requiem, in time for November. If anyone has any helpful pointers on that or the Intimo, I'd appreciate an e-mail.
6:30pm, 11th November has been confirmed as the date for the World Requiem performance, given by the BBC Symphony Orchestra under Botstein, with various choirs and choruses at the Royal Albert Hall. All details and ticket booking facilities at at the RAH's website here. Prior to the concert there is also a talk on the work, given at Imperial College's Great Hall.
The BBC are planning to bite the budget bullet and stage a performance of the World Requiem on 11 November 2007. Interest in the composer really has increased since Oramo began championing his work in the concert hall and on disc, and a Chandos , via their own message board, admit that a CD release of a work such as the Requiem, though expensive, would be a dream project for them. While such works are expensive to organize and record, this has not stopped Chandos from championing large scale works from other previously submerged 20th century British composers such as Rubbra and William Alwyn, so perhaps this cannot be dismissed as mere pipe dream. But why the Requiem? Why not leave it to the Beeb and dig out something else? Make 2007 a big year!
In addition to those items listed below, there are more performances to come:
2006.03.25 19:30 April-England (Scarborough Symphony Orchestra, first
public performance, in "Old & New" concert at Westborough Methodist
Church, Falsgrave Road, Scarborough)
2006.04.02 14:45 Dynamic triptych (Brighton Philharmonic, with Howard Shelley (piano); includes a charged pre-concert talk, music by Britten, and Vaughan Williams's Sinfonia Antarctica)
2006.01.19 20:00 The German premiere of Hellas: A Suite of Ancient Greece has been programmed by the Munich Chamber Orchestra, conductor Christoph Poppen, for performance in Munich.
The CBSO, which recently performed and recorded a number of Foulds' orchestral works, is due to continue its run with the following projected:
2005.11.08 Dynamic Triptych (with Peter Donohoe) 2005.11.30
update: Will be broadcast on BBC Radio 3, 2005.12.09 ca.19:30 at the end of
a week devoted to British music
2006.01.10,12 Music-Pictures Group III
2005.04.29 April-England (timely!) 2005.11.30 update: together with Elgar's cello concerto and Rimsky-Korsakov's Sheherezade
The Sony disc "Transcendent Journey" (listed on this site) including Gandharva-Music and April-England is ranked Instrumental CD of the month in the August issue of BBC Music Magazine, with a 5-star review from Stephen Johnson.
Sakari Oramo and the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra continue their purge of Foulds cobwebs with more concerts planned for the 2005-2006 season. Their first will be the Dynamic Tryptich, op.88: featuring eminent pianist Peter Donohoe, the concert will be held on 2005.11.08. Other works planned are two of Music-Pictures Group III and April-England, perhaps with Le Cabaret an option also. Malcolm Macdonald (the source of this news) reports: "As with the performances in the 2003-4 season, this is intended to lead to a CD recording by Warner Classics. The first Warner disc was a notable success, selling 6000 units in its first two month of issue."
To call Gandharva-music impressionistic might have proved almost as insulting as describing April-England jolly pastoralism, but both make accessible and equally rewarding piano works. By chosing these, Juan José Chuquisengo places the release of his 2003 recordings in direct comparison with the release by Peter Jacobs, but wheras Jacobs fills his disc with Foulds, Chuquisengo opts for an eclectic mix focussing mostly on works that stress a lightness of touch, from Bach to Corigliano, stopping at oddities such as a Liszt transcription of the second movement of Beethoven's Seventh Symphony on the way. See details of the addition in the discography.
(I should like to apologise for the lack of updates so far this year, due in part to concentrating on bringing another website up to scratch. When I am satisfied, I shall focus a great deal more on content here.)
The Sakari Oramo/CBSO CD (see discography) was voted among BBC Music Magazine's Best 20 CDs of 2004, and in the 2005.01 issue of Gramophone, the 'Letter of the Month' from Wilfred Chadwick praised the disc and called for recording of A World Requiem.
The Sakari Oramo/CBSO CD (see discography) is a critical success, with favourable reviews by Richard Whitehouse in International Record Review (2004.10, p.41) and Jeremy Nicholas (5 stars, Best Buy) in Classic FM magazine (2004.11, p.77); and an article 'Mancunian mantra man' by Geoff Brown in The times arts section ('Times2', 2004.11.5, p.18).
Furthermore, the recording of the Three mantras will be broadcast on Radio 3 on 2004.12.23.
The December 2004 edition of BBC music magazine (vol.13, no.4) features not only a glowing 5-star review of the new Foulds/Oramo CD (p.58) but also an article on the composer titled 'Indian ink' by Calum Macdonald (p.32-36), complete with a number of photographs.
Further to details below re: the Sakari Oramo/CBSO CD, this is now released and will be added to the discography as soon as Bluntinstrument receives his copy. Details are: Warner Classics, 2564615252 with guest artists Susan Bickley and Daniel Hope. Gramophone magazine has highlighted it as an Editor's Choice: 'A fascinating portrait of a colourful, restless personality', and a good review-come-background page on the disc can already be found at http://www.calowclassics.net/foulds.html
To help market the new disc, Oramo spoke to Tom Service in his BBC Radio 3 programme 'Music Matters' last weekend (Sunday, 24 October 2004 17:45), talking about Foulds, the way his music might travel, the idea of cross-over Western/Indian music with reference to Foulds, his wife and Gustav Holst, and finally the conductor's own taste for his music. The article was approximately 10 minutes long.
Reports come in that Sakari Oramo and the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra are releasing their Foulds CD as promised at their concerts earlier this year. The Mantras, Lyra Celtica (Susan Bickley, mezzo-soprano), Apotheosis (Music-Poem no.4, Daniel Hope, violin), and Mirage (Music-Poem No.5) are all included, as is the bonus of an autobiographical essay, 'In my Father's House' specially written by Foulds's son Patrick, in the liner notes, fronted by a picture by Patrick Foulds, originally used as an illustration for Maud MacCarthy's Poems by Tandra Devi (India, 1938).
A broadcast of Fould's Indian suite from a recording first broadcast in 1994 with Barry Wordsworth conducting the BBC Concert Orchestra is planned for Sunday 2004.09.12 on BBC Radio 3's "3 for all" programme, presented by Brian Kay. It is suggested that this piece will be broadcast at approximately 4:25pm, although listening from the programme start-time of 4pm is advised. Unfortunately the BBC does not keep this programme on their website after broadcast, so listening to it live on radio is the the only option. This performance has never been commercially available.
2004.01.11; updated 2004.02.10
Implied as a possibility by Graham Hatton and confirmed by the radio broadcast announcement on 2004.02.10, in the days succeeding February's Birmingham concerts there will be recording sessions for some or all the Foulds works performed (contents to be finalised), in addition to a recording of one or both of the concerts live. Excellent news for those unable to travel to Birmingham. Although not present at the concerts, bluntinstrument heard the radio broadcast of the first programme, viewing the performance of the Mantras as an effective interpretative update of the work, substituting some of the raw power of previous recorded and broadcast performances for a greater eye for orchestral detail. The first Mantra, though, succeeded in setting a dangerously thrilling pace.
The Quartetto intimo, performed in concert by the Turina-Quartett, will be broadcast by the BBC on Sunday 6th July 2003 at some point between 9am and 12:15pm . Tune into Radio 3 or visit the BBC's website, which allows Internet streaming.
A post-Rattle era for the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra is shaping up to be good news for John Foulds, who's music features in 3 of their 2004 concerts in Birmingham Symphony Hall. It is slightly disappointing that two concerts feature the same programme, but perhaps the three mantras are expected to encourage a returning audience? Such optomism is unlikely (more likely Suwanai is drawing in the crowds), but the bonus of the Birmingham concerts is the featuring of Malcolm MacDonald in pre-concert talks to all concerts.
Public booking for all three concerts starts 7 July 2003, with tickets selling at £6.50 - £35. Check details at http://www.cbso.co.uk or book at +44 (0)121-780 3333.
The text below is taken from the CBSO website.
Tuesday 10 and 12 February 2004 at 7.30pm
Sakari Oramo conductor
Akiko Suwanai violin
City of Birmingham Symphony Youth Chorus (Seniors)
Foulds Three Mantras
Prokofiev Violin Concerto No.2
East meets West in this kaleidoscope of a concert. Stravinsky’s colourful ballet, set amongst puppets at a Russian fairground, is one of the great 20th-century showpieces for orchestra. Prokofiev’s lyrical, bittersweet 2nd Violin Concerto will provide an equally brilliant vehicle for the superb Japanese virtuoso Akiko Suwanai. Sakari Oramo also champions John Foulds’ Three Mantras, an astonishing work from a neglected pre-war British composer whose dream was to fuse the music of Europe and India.
*pre-concert talk at 6.15pm on both nights, it seems
John Foulds: Three Mantras – Writer and English music specialist Malcolm MacDonald explains this rarely performed work and talks about the life and music of John Foulds
Wednesday 25 February 2004 at 7.30pm
Sakari Oramo conductor
Susan Bickley mezzo-soprano
Strauss Till Eulenspiegel
John Mirage (first performance)
John Lyra Celtica (first performance)
Strauss Also sprach Zarathustra
Till Eulenspiegel is all about practical jokes; Zarathustra (with that 2001,A Space Odyssey opening) deals with the whole of human history, but both provided Richard Strauss with the perfect excuse for glorious melodies and blockbuster musical special effects! Hear the CBSO rise to the challenge under Sakari Oramo – and be amongst the first ever to hear two magical rediscovered scores by John Foulds, the forgotten English composer who died in Calcutta in 1939. Mirage is a Straussian evocation of man’s metaphysical aspirations, while Lyra Celtica makes ground-breaking use of Indian quarter-tone scales in a wordless concerto for voice and orchestra that Foulds composed for his wife Maud McCarthy.
*pre-concert talk at 6.15pm
John Foulds: Mirage & Lyra Celtica – Writer and English music specialist Malcolm MacDonald on the life and music of John Foulds, and tonight’s two Foulds world premiere
Hopeful news comes from Michael Schlechtriem of the Turina-Quartett: the Quartetto Intimo has been successfully recorded (now waiting the usual technical wizardry) and he hopes to follow this up with a recording of the Cello Sonata in the same hall (whose accoustic is described as 'rather cool') later this year. No label or release date has been intimated as yet.
A further concert featuring Foulds' Quartetto intimo, op.89 (also including a quartet by Mozart and Herbstbilder by Stephan Esser) is set for 11:00 on 2 February 2003, performed by the Turina-Quartett at the Spiegelsaal (an interesting venue) at Schloss Morsbroich. Any review of the performance (in English or German) would be helpful from anyone German-based.
Classical music radio station WKAR-FM is set to play Wordsworth's reading (recorded for Lyrita) of the Cabaret overture, 08:23am on 16th January 2003 - this should be listenable on the internet. (http://wkar.org/radio/)
The German premiere of John Foulds' Quartetto intimo, op.89 was given on 28 November 2002 in the Rathaus-Festsaal, Münster by the Turina-Quartett - Midori Goto, Adrian Kowollik (violins), Volker Hendrichs (viola), Michael Schlechtriem (cello) in a programme otherwise including Mozart and Schoenberg. This young ensemble, all players from the Symphonie-Orchester der Stadt Münster, intend further performances in the Spring of 2003 and a CD recording of the work.
The three Mantras, performed by the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra and City of Birmingham Symphony Chorus (ladies), conducted by Oramo at the Birmingham Symphony Hall on 26th October 2000