Caught Debussy, arr. Beamish: Suite for cello and orchestra a week or three back on Po3 - very interesting arrangements.
As others have said, this series of 5 programmes was a delight. Public service broadcasting at its best. I knew almost nothing about her and her work before the programmes and I was left at the end wanting to know more and certainly wanting to explore more of her music. Donald Macleod did a first rate job of interviewing. It appears to bring us to the end of the series of programms on British composers. The highlights for me were Simon Heffer (I don't care for his politics but he can present a good programme) on Saturday afternoons and this week's CotW. I do feel that 2 hours a week on R3 devoted to music from British composers could and should be justified.
Hopefully BIS will record this arrangement together with some other works of hers - BIS being nearly the only record company to issue CDs with work of hers.
"It is interesting that Ms Beamish has taken to jazz - the one form (apart from free improvisation) in which I feel the language of music to be still evolving -"
Well no doubt she has done, and I will have to listen some more, but the music presented in COTW (e.g. Bridge) is at such a high intellectual level that one wonders whether applying the epithet "jazz" to it, is at all helpful. If it is Jazz, it is a hipless form of Jazz.
This is Jazz as far as I am concerned: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i8q6sR6yZCE
er well there is "Jazz", 'Jazz' & Jazz not to mention "jazz", 'jazz' & jazz ..... there is also jass music ... punctuation at yer choice etc ....... i did hear Ms Beamish say that she found her jazz studies emboldened her to take a compositional liberty or two with Brahms's harmonies ... ahem ... whatever that might entail .....
"Society is indeed a contract. It is a partnership in all science; a partnership in all art; a partnership in every virtue, and in all perfection. As the ends of such a partnership cannot be obtained in many generations, it becomes a partnership not only between those who are living, but between those who are living, those who are dead, and those who are to be born.”
But, point taken. I for one was totally unable to detect any Thelonius Monk influence in the "self portrait" movement of the cello sonata played during the final programe of the series. Branford Marsalis allegedly does detect jazz influences in her work - of which she claimed to have been unaware.
My own observation on her *stated* interest in jazz came early on in the week, before we were really offered examples by which to gauge it. Much of course was omitted from her journey as described, but, assuming I am right in the chronology, I was intrigued by the fact that Ms Beamish had turned to a top American jazz musician, like Mark Anthony Turnage did for "Blood on the Floor", and thus an "American" model of jazz, as opposed to the Scottish jazz scene, for all her describing being involved in the local folk music scene, tacitly rooted in the landascape and community spirit, her main compositional inspirations.
Far more interesting in terms of moving music as a whole forward, I think, is when it is jazz musicians adapting (rather then adopting, if you get me) aspects of modern compositional techniques, particularly formal devices (eg polytonality, serialism, stochastics), on jazz's own terms; it seems to me that then comes the chance for modern composers within the classical field to look to jazz as a creative source for new ideas.