Gruber, H.K. (b. 1943), Expulsion from Paradise (arr. Iain Farrington)
Walton, William (1902-1983), Façade (arr. Iain Farrington)
Rushton, Edward, Pandora, Organic Machine
Eleanor Bron, Narrator
John Savournin, Narrator
Counterpoise, an ensemble of highly sought-after British instrumentalists, first appeared in the 2008 Festival shortly after it was formed to give the first performances of On the Edge by Edward Rushton. The group specialises in crossing musical genres, exploring the relationship between music, poetry and visual elements, and seeking also to develop aspects of narrative and other extra-musical influences. HK Gruber’s The Expulsion from Paradise, composed in 1966 to a text by Richard Bletschacher, is a dramatic take on the romantic concept of ‘melodrama’: there are four characters – The Angel with the Fiery Sword, A Guest, A Preacher, and a Survivor – who together anarchically survey the wasteland of a dysfunctional, perhaps post-nuclear modern society. Dagny Gioulami’s text for Edward Rushton’s Pandora (2011) turns to ancient Greek myth to explore a related theme. At the heart of the programme sits one of Walton’s most popular and entertaining works, his Façade, for two narrators and instruments in a special arrangement by Iain Farrington. Walton was featured in the very first City of London Festival in 1962, for which he composed his A Song for the Lord Mayor’s Table.