Richard Causton’s Blake-inspired orchestral piece Twenty Seven Heavens, one of twenty new works commissioned for the Cultural Olympiad as part of the Performing Rights Society’s New Music 20×12 programme, was warmly mentioned in the Daily Telegraph’s roundup of the year’s classical highlights (A Year in the Arts, Saturday 15th December 2012). Critic Ivan Hewett described it as the best of the New Music 20×12 pieces and “a brilliant translation into sound of William Blake’s vision of the mythical Albion’s struggles to awaken from spiritual death”.
Causton was also a featured composer (along with Weir, Harvey, Lindberg and Colin Matthews) at this month’s Park Lane Group Purcell Room Series, where, in addition to performances of his violin pieces Seven States of Rain and Fantasia and Air, a new piece for accordion was premiered. The Financial Times’ Andrew Clarke wrote “Devised by Richard Causton, the concert juxtaposed duo percussion with solo accordion, and proved a much more successful – and compact – package than the PLG’s opening salvo on Monday…Lindberg and Luciano Berio were represented by works that did not live up to their reputations, but Causton’s Ricercare, a premiere, burnished his. It’s an atmospheric memory piece, relying on the soloist’s subtlety and power of suggestion rather than overt virtuosity. It proved surprisingly effective – an antidote to the usual portrayal of the accordion as a wheeze-bag”. Seven States of Rain receives a further performance in New York later this month and forthcoming performances closer to home include his carol Out of Your Sleep (King’s College Evensong, 19th January) and the Chamber Symphony (CBSO Centre, Birmingham, 15th February).
Twenty Seven Heavens and Seven States of Rain are both available on the NMC label and can be downloaded at http://www.nmcrec.co.uk/recording/twenty-seven-heavens and http://www.nmcrec.co.uk/recording/darragh-morgan-opera#2