New year JOY!

We’re so excited to make our first Covid lockdown commissions available to APO members (if you’re not an APO member but are interested in the commissions, please do get in touch).

There are two works to get your teeth into. The first is a brand new work by composer Derri Lewis. Happily titled, ‘JOY’, Derri describes it as ‘a celebration of community music making; an activity at the heart of millions of musicians across the globe which suffered such a terrible blow at the hands of COVID-19. Coming together to create, rehearse and listen to great music is such a joyful activity – it is this feeling that I hope to have captured in my piece.’

As well as the full orchestral version, APO commissioned Derri to produce a flexibly-scored chamber version, written for six parts (and optional piano part), with sheet music provided for various transpositions of orchestral instruments. This means that when players are allowed to come together to play again, they can do so in small groups without having to find specific combinations of instruments.

Of course, right now Reading and many other areas are under tight restrictions, meaning no playing together is possible. Anticipating this possibility, another element of the commission was for three miniatures for solo instruments. Each can be played on any instrument, with Derri being clear that all the parts in the chamber scoring and the miniatures are ‘completely free for interpretation, decoration and improvement!’ We hope that many APO players will enjoy playing these short pieces, and might even record them for sharing with other members and publicly.

The second commission is another flexibly-scored arrangement, this time of an existing work that we explored during our autumn series of online projects. Arranger Samara Ginsberg has taken the full, romantic orchestra-scored Faust Overture by German composer Emilie Mayer and distilled it into just six parts. This again means that when it’s possible to come together and play, APO members can play it in a sextet, or more, without having to find specific instrumentalists for each part, making it logistically easier to find friends to make music with.

In due course, both the full orchestra version of JOY and the Mayer’s original Faust Overture will feature in APO performances.