Ever played Birtwistle? Now’s your chance

Ever played Birtwistle? Now’s your chance


norman lebrecht

February 04, 2021

From Birmingham Contemporary Music Group:

Sir Harrison Birtwistle’s Roddy’s Reel was composed and premiered on the north-westerly Scottish Isle of Raasay where Birtwistle lived for many years. Scored for bass clarinet with audience participation, the work calls for the audience to create wild Scottish waves and weather by clapping and ‘shh’ing. Since BCMG can’t organise this in person at the moment, they’re calling for audience members of all ages from across the world to join a recording session over Zoom with BCMG musician Mark O’Brien in what might be the first online performance of the work. Members of the public can sign up to take part here.



  • M McAlpine says:

    I have heard this gentleman’s music before and so will pass on this one.

  • Whimbrel says:

    I have heard this gentleman’s music before and so have quickly signed up to participate.

    • John Borstlap says:

      In times of musical deprivation, anything even remotely seeming musical will quench the profound hunger for exaltation.

  • Max Raimi says:

    I performed in the world premiere of Birtwistle’s “Exody” ten years ago here in Chicago. I wasn’t smart enough to make heads or tails of it, and it clearly baffled our audience as well. It did not leave me with any great desire to further explore his oeuvre.

  • Phil newton says:

    I conducted the Robert Cunliffe orchestra of Accrington .1969 to 71 of which I heard HB was a clarinettist at one time.

  • Alexander T says:

    I’ll pass, thank you.

  • Genius Repairman says:

    Can one become a vituoso Shher…? There are too many virtuoso cough coughers!

    • John Borstlap says:

      Corona has considerably increased such talent all over the world. Unfortunately concert halls are closed so that they cannot exercise their suddenly-found abilities.

  • Jane says:

    Fantastic! It would be an honour to take part.