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Steve ELCOCK: Orchestral Music, Volume Two

This second volume of orchestral music by the English composer Steve Elcock (b. 1957), long since resident in France, brings three powerful works all with their origins in earlier pieces. Incubus examines the terrors of nightmare-riven sleep in a vigorous symphonic essay based on a movement from Elcock’s string quartet Night after Night. The impulse behind Haven, an expansive and surprisingly muscular fantasy, is the Sarabanda theme from Bach’s First Partita for solo violin. And Elcock’s Fifth Symphony takes its cue from the most famous of all Fifth Symphonies, re-examining Beethoven’s structural logic in Elcock’s own musical language to produce a volcanic new Fifth, its charge of wild energy husbanded to maximum dramatic effect.

Siberian Symphony Orchestra
Andrey Lopatin, violin (Track 2)
Grigorii Vever, clarinet (Track 5)
Evgeny Plaksin, horn (Track 5)
Dmitry Vasiliev, conductor

FIRST RECORDINGS

Steve Elcock: Chamber Music, Volume One

The English composer Steve Elcock (b. 1957) spent years writing music without ever expecting it to be heard. The works on this first album of his chamber music show contrasting aspects of his style: the Clarinet Sextet and The Shed Dances are immediately appealing in their melodiousness, harmonic language and mischievous sense of humour, whereas the String Trio No. 1, with its stark juxtaposition of contrasts, and the sextet An Outstretched Hand, which treads a fine line between grief and consolation, both offer powerful comment on our troubled 21st century.

The Veles Ensemble
Daniel Shao, flute (Track 11)
Peter Cigleris, clarinet (Tracks 1–3, 5–11)
Yuri Kalnits, violin (Tracks 1–3)
Leon Bosch, double bass (Tracks 1–3)
Catalina Ardelean, piano (Track 11)

Steve Elcock: Orchestral Music, Volume One

The English composer Steve Elcock (b. 1957) has been writing music since his teens, but with virtually no contacts in the musical world, told no one what he was doing – and thus has evolved a compelling symphonic style entirely his own, combining virtuoso orchestral writing with a sense of momentum that has its roots in the Nordic-British tradition of Sibelius, Nielsen, Simpson, Brian and similar figures. His Third Symphony is a vast canvas generating fierce energy and titanic violence, leavened at times by a sardonic sense of humour. Choses renversées par le temps ou la destruction is a dark symphonic triptych where fragile beauty is constantly at threat from the forces of ignorance. The breezy, buoyant Festive Overture, by contrast, has a Waltonian swagger that barrels on with relentless good humour.

Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra
Paul Mann, conductor
James Clark, leader
Richard Casey, harpsichord Tracks 4, 6

Music For My Love, Vol. One

CELEBRATING THE LIFE OF A SPECIAL WOMAN

100+ NEW WORKS FOR STRING ORCHESTRA, VOLUME ONE

When in late 2014 Yodit Tekle was diagnosed with stomach cancer, her partner, Martin Anderson, who runs Toccata Classics, asked a couple of composer friends to write some music to bring her comfort in her illness. As her life slipped away, he had the idea that she could be remembered in music and so he began to commission other pieces for string orchestra in her memory. To his surprise, almost everyone he asked generously accepted, and so the project snowballed: there are now over 100 composers who have written or agreed to write for it – an undertaking unique in the history of music. This first volume presents the first eleven pieces in an initiative which, in effect, transforms love into something you can hear.

Kodály Philharmonic Orchestra
Paul Mann, conductor

Explore and Support This Project

Elcock: From One Fifth To Another

Steve Elcock has mastered the fast introduction. A device favoured by Berlioz gets a new lease of life: both Elcock’s Third (2005–10) and this new… 

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Steven Elcock, symphonist

UPDATE – STEVE ELCOCK: ORCHESTRAL MUSIC, VOLUME ONE IS OUT NOW! You can imagine that, running a recording label, I get approaches from all sorts… 

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Steve Elcock Orchestral Music IndieGoGo

Help to make the first recording of Steve Elcock’s Orchestral Music a public release by funding the IndieGoGo campaign: After writing music for over 25… 

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Coming in from the Unknown

English composer Steve Elcock describes his emergence from total obscurity At the age of seventeen, I sat the entrance examination to go to Oxford to… 

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Recording “An Outstretched Hand” and Other Chamber Works

At half past four on a Friday morning in May 2018 I set out from my home in south-eastern France to go to England. The… 

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Cooking Up A Symphony: Steve Elcock Examines What Makes A Good Recipe

After I posted a recipe on one of the social networks, two composer friends suggested, jokingly, that I should come up with a recipe for… 

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An Infinity of Traces: Influence Without Anxiety

I often play a kind of party game with friends: each participant will offer a recording of a piece of music by a less-well-known composer,… 

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Too Many Symphonies? – Part One: Rob Keeley

Sometime in the 1950s, when John Barbirolli famously said ‘there are too many symphonies this year, or any year’, he might have been weary after… 

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