“Everything is in hand,” Michael Nyman remarked in May as he returned to the Chester Music roster with an exclusive publishing agreement as well as a number of commissions to be completed for the 2007-08 season.
The first premiere occurs on 20 September at Sage Concert Hall, when the Michael Nyman Band performs 50,000 Pairs of Feet Can’t Be Wrong, a newly commissioned concert-opener for the 2007 half-marathon Great North Run. The work explores the relationship between a runner’s physical and mental states. Nyman shares, “I went to Leeds Metropolitan University and spent a day talking to sports scientists. We recorded five tapes. [I edited] their words, which will be heard in the piece.” The work receives its London premiere on 6 December at The Barbican.
On 4 October, Nyman travels to the Venice Biennale for a concert of three world premieres: his Violin Concerto No. 2 (for soloist Francesco D’Orazio) and the orchestral vocal works I sonetti lussuriosi and The Libertine (for soprano Marie Angel). Nyman conducts the Orchestra dell’Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecelia. The Libertine is a concert work derived from the score of Laurence Dunmore’s 2004 film starring Johnny Depp. I sonetti lussuriosi is the composer’s setting of Petro Aretino’s 16th-century erotic poems that accompanied Guilo Romano’s drawings in a volume that can be called a Renaissance equivalent of the Kama Sutra. The concert is repeated in Rome on the 6th. (I sonetti lussuriosi travels to The Barbican on 6 December in its UK premiere, and is a featured component of the Barbican Art Gallery’s exhibition “Seduced: Art and Sex from Antiquity to Now.”) On the 12th, Nyman’s Cello Concerto premieres in Beijing with soloist Nina Kotova. European performances follow in 2008, with the UK premiere scheduled with the Royal Philharmonic in January.