For pianist Rebeca Omordia, continuing her exploration of music by British composers has led to a UK and Romanian tour with cellist, Răzvan Suma; resident cellist and director of the Romanian National Broadcasting Orchestras.
Their programme of British works for cello and piano will include John Ireland's powerful Cello Sonata, Ian Venables' heart-rending ‘Elegy’, and 'Fast Music'; a new work written especially for the tour by Robert Matthew-Walker.
Matthew-Walker is a prolific composer, having written over 160 works, although he is perhaps better-known to classical audiences as a music critic. Written at the request of Omordia, it was the composer’s idea that the piece be called ‘Fast Music’.
“On researching the repertoire, the soloists could find no short fast pieces to contrast with the prevailing slow or moderate ones”, explained the composer. “The new work is in a single movement, lasting seven minutes, and is fast throughout, the final bars catching a glimpse of music in a quite different style – but still fast!”
For cellist Răzvan Suma, John Ireland's Cello Sonata was one of the greatest musical revelations; “It is a work full of melancholy and drama - almost brutal at times - and wrapped up in a grandiose and solid sonata structure”, he explained. “I was fortunate to perform the transcription of the work for cello and strings in a live broadcast with the Romanian Chamber Broadcasting Orchestra in Bucharest last summer and I am looking forward to performing it again with Rebeca on tour in 2017.”
"John Ireland's Cello Sonata is one of his darkest works, inspired by the supernatural world of Arthur Machen's writings”, said pianist Rebeca Omordia. “It's full of mystery and poses technical and musical challenges for the pianist. I've played it many times, with cellists Julian and Jiaxin Lloyd Webber and Raphael Wallfisch, and now with the celebrated Romanian cellist, Răzvan Suma, with whom I have performed it in Romania.”
Rebeca’s recent acclaimed performances of John Ireland’s Piano Sonata, ‘Legend’ for Piano and Orchestra and several of the composer’s outstanding miniatures have dazzled audiences and critics alike and in her tour with Răzvan Suma, the duo will be performing the following British and Romanian works:
Edward Elgar – Salut d'amour Op.12
Ian Venables – Elegy Op.2
Frank Bridge – Scherzetto
John Ireland – Cello Sonata in G minor
Robert Matthew-Walker – Fast Music for cello and piano Op.158 (2016) World Premiere
George Enescu – Sonata in F minor: Allegro
Delius – Romance
Britten – Cello Sonata in C major op 65: Scherzo-pizzicato
2017 UK concert dates:
8th March – Hertford College, Oxford University
9th March – Enescu Series, Romanian Cultural Institute, London
10th March – Birmingham and Midland Institute
13th March – Blackheath Halls
14th March – Cheltenham Town Hall
17th March – St James's Piccadilly
20th March – St Martin in the Fields
Sponsored by the Romanian Cultural Institute and the John Ireland Trust, the UK tour is to be followed by performances in Romania and a live broadcast from the Radio Hall in Bucharest on 17th May. Rebeca’s forthcoming debut recording features Vaughan Williams’s ‘Introduction and Fugue’ with pianist Mark Bebbington and is released on the SOMM label in February.