Music for a New Century

New Century Chamber Orchestra, Daniel Hope

Music for a New Century
2 June 2023

Music for a New Century

New Century Chamber Orchestra, Daniel Hope

Since Daniel Hope’s appointment as Music Director of the New Century Chamber Orchestra at the start of the 2018–2019 season, a shared passion for excellence, innovation and exploration has subsequently informed the performances and other projects both he and New Century have undertaken. The latest of these is Music for a New Century a portrait of composition in postmodern times. Its quartet of pieces stand as emblems of its wholehearted commitment to new work.

Featuring world premiere recordings of works by Tan Dun, Mark-Anthony Turnage and Jake Heggie, as well as music by Philip Glass, Music for a New Century forms part of the New Century Chamber Orchestra’s 30th-anniversary celebrations. All four pieces were commissioned or co-commissioned by the ensemble, reflecting its advocacy of contemporary classical music, a commitment that’s grown even stronger under the leadership of Music Director Daniel Hope. 


I love an album where you hear the weight of the past 400 years of music in each work. This album has everything you’d expect from modern music: neoclassicism, minimalism, cinematic, atonality and more, to blend, contrast and plain show off some of the best composers working right now. Daniel Hope is the artistic director of the New Century Chamber Orchestra, who aggressively commission new repertoire from composers around the world. This album is an eclectic smorgasbord of those pieces with three world-premiere recordings celebrating the orchestra and its creative engagement with new music.

It starts with Philip Glass and his Piano Concerto No 3, which was composed in 2017 with Alexey Botvinov at the piano. The three movements are rooted in Glass’s minimalist style, with lashings of Arvo Pärt, and it is contemplative, without losing forward momentum. Which makes the transition into Tan Dun’s Double Concerto for violin, piano, strings and percussion even more jarring, but strangely invigorating. The angular first movement gives way to a sublime Misterioso, and throughout all the movements you can feel the influences of Dun’s Chinese musical heritage, along with his cinematic experience, through the use of percussion.

Meanwhile, Mark-Anthony Turnage is a British composer, working extensively throughout Europe as an opera, ballet and orchestral composer. His Lament for Solo Violin and Orchestra is an utterly modern work. Turnage wrote it for Daniel Hope, and says, ‘He is a player with a lot of heart and that’s what I tried to capture in the piece as a whole.’ There are moments of discordance, and others of beauty; Hope brings it all together with his singing sound. My favourite work on the album was the sweet Overture at the end by Jake Heggie. The strong opening chords are obviously rooted in the Copland tradition, and its joyful five minutes are a perfect way to end this album.

This item is not currently in-stock. It can be ordered online and is expected to ship in 7-14 days

Our stock data is updated periodically, and availability may change throughout the day for in-demand items. Please call the relevant shop for the most current stock information. Prices are subject to change without notice.

Sign in or become a Readings Member to add this title to a wishlist.