Trumpet Concerto / Symphony No 2 (PFCD203)
Composed by Daryl Runswick. Featuring Steve Waterman, Héloïse Werner, The King's Singers & BBC National Orchestra Of Wales
The Raggle Taggle Gypsies
Concerto for trumpet, three horns, three percussion and strings
Intro – Cadenza – Ground Bass – Scherzo – Lento – Finale
Symphony No.2 Maybe I Can Have An Everlasting Love
“Browsers in the ASC/Prima Facie catalogues will know that my music covers a wide range. There are jazz albums, pop songs, contemporary classical outings, Electric Phoenix reissues... which corresponds closely to what has happened in my career from the late 1960s: many different directions. Only one avenue has not until now been pursued in recordings, works with symphony orchestra – largely because of the cost. This omission is put right in the current release: my Concerto for Trumpet, Three Horns, Three Percussion and Strings and my Second Symphony. Serendipitously, considering the fact that I’ve lived for the past eight years in Powys, the orchestra here is the BBC National Orchestra of Wales – and a mighty good band it is, world class.
The Trumpet Concerto dates from the early 1980s and, despite being a classical piece, is heavily influenced by the jazz I was playing at the time. It therefore seemed appropriate, when looking for a soloist, to engage a jazz player, whose tone, approach and especially high notes would fit the style of writing in the solo part (classical players go for pure and piercing high notes, jazz players for visceral intensity). Up stepped Steve Waterman, nationally and internationally renowned in his field and a teacher at several major conservatoires. The combination of his worldview and that of the BBCNOW results in a stunning sound quite unlike anything you’ll have heard before.
My Second Symphony dates from 2004-5 when I was recovering from a serious illness. It was commissioned by my college, Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance, as a parting gift on my retirement as Head of Composition Faculty. It is dedicated to my dear friend Michael Gwinnell, whose name appears in coded form throughout the work. In addition to the orchestra there are two vocal soloists and electronics. Much philosophising goes on in the texts, as well as ranting and obscenity. As for the vocal soloists I had always intended myself to be one but for the other I needed a glorious female voice capable of interpretational extremes from tenderness to near-hysteria. Michael Gwinnell himself suggested Héloïse Werner, a young artist at the start of what I predict will be a stellar career (as a composer as well as a singer) and who here nails her vocals to the wall.
With the two orchestral works already in the can, it occurred to me to open the album with a folk song. The Trumpet Concerto is actually a fantasia on The Raggle Taggle Gypsies with its dream of an escape to freedom. It so happens that in 1985 I arranged this song for The King’s Singers for their CD Watching the White Wheat. What better opening for my album? The current King’s Singers, nearly forty years after their illustrious predecessors, make a wonderful job of reviving the piece.”
Daryl Runswick, March 2023
The Raggle Taggle Gypsies:
The King’s Singers (Patrick Dunachie, Edward Button, Julian Gregory, Christopher Bruerton, Nick Ashby, Jonathan Howard)
Concerto for trumpet, three horns, three percussion and strings: Steve Waterman, trumpet; BBC National Orchestra of Wales – Daryl Runswick, conductor
Symphony No.2 Maybe I Can Have An Everlasting Love: Héloïse Werner, Daryl Runswick, voices; BBC National Orchestra of Wales – Daryl Runswick conductor
Recorded 2022-3 at Hoddinott Hall, Cardiff; Sign, Wales; Red Gables Studios, London; and The Firepit, London.
Produced and engineered by Phil Hardman and Daryl Runswick
Executive producer Steve Plews
Produced in association with BBC Radio 3 and the BBC National Orchestra of Wales
Composer/performer Daryl Runswick (b. 1946) was educated at Cambridge University and Ronnie Scott’s Club. He spent his early career writing and performing jazz and pop; more recently concert pieces. He has also been involved with free improvisation and indeterminate music, one of the few (to quote John Wickes) who can claim to have worked with both Ornette Coleman and John Cage. This duality has permeated his career as an improvising pianist, singer with Electric Phoenix, bassplayer, arranger, record producer, broadcaster, educator, community animateur and film/TV composer. Head of Composition at Trinity College of Music in London for 10 years before retiring, he has searched for a synthesis of the improvising skills of jazz with the more complex structures of concert music.