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Uploaded on Aug 28, 2010
First section of the BBC Prom first performance of the orchestral piece Red Earth by Michael Finnissy. BBC Symphony Orchestra conducted by Lothar Zagrosek. Royal Albert Hall in 1988. Introduced by Sue Cook and directed by Barrie Gavin.
Red Earth reflects the parched landscape of the Central Australian Desert through a haze of string writing, vivid orchestral colours and the drone of didjeridoos, working towards a savage and shocking climax.
"Finnissy's Red Earth is built from shifting blocks, smears and shocks of sound. It develops through primeval evolutions - eruptions, blossomings, ominous undulations - rather than crafted convolutions, demanding an appreciation of nature's ageless, forbidding beauty."
A short biography of Michael Finnissy: Michael Finnissy was born in Tulse Hill, London in 1946 and studied at the Royal College of Music. He later studied in Italy with Roman Vlad. He went on to create the music department of the London School of Contemporary Dance, and has been associated as composer with many notable British dance companies. He has also been musician in residence to the Victorian College of the Arts, the City of Caulfield in Australia, and the East London Late Starters Orchestra. In 1999 he was made Professor of Composition at the University of Southampton.