Judith Weir Proms Fanfare
19th July 2011
‘Night draws the curtain, which the sun withdraws;
Music and light attend our head.’
This new work was commissioned by BBC Radio 3. It was premiered at the First Night of the BBC Proms on 15th July 2011. The performance was given by the BBC Symphony Orchestra, the BBC Symphony Chorus and the BBC Singers, conducted by Jirí Belohlávek.
Watch an extract of Stars, Night, Music and Light from the First Night of the Proms 2011 here:
To start the season, Judith Weir provided a short new piece…Simple and direct, though containing some flamboyant harmonic and orchestral writing, her George Herbert setting Stars, Night, Music and Light struck exactly the right celebratory note.
George Hall, The Guardian
Judith Weir is known for her wry, deflating touch - she once wrote a ten-minute grand opera for just one voice. So it was only to be expected that she would come at the genre of "grand curtain-raiser" from an interestingly sideways angle. Her setting of George Herbert's lines hymning the stars and sun was grand enough to need three timpani players, full orchestra and chorus and organo pleno. But it was light on its feet, and kept pulling the rug from under its sturdy major-key assertiveness with curious side-slipping harmonies.
Ivan Hewett, The Telegraph