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These works by Robert Saxton were written between 2013 and 2019 and represent his continuing journey of exploration in modal and harmonic structures; complex in structure but creating no jarring modernist difficulty for the listener. A mix of orchestral, chamber and vocal works, it features top performers including world-renowned baritone Roderick Williams and equally famous (and now film star) Clare Hammond.
Robert Saxton received early guidance from Benjamin Britten and studied with Elisabeth Lutyens, Robin Holloway and Luciano Berio among others. He has received commissions from the BBC (TV, radio and Proms) and many prominent ensembles. Until retiring in 2021 Robert was Professor of Composition at Oxford University and is a Research Fellow of the Royal Academy of Music.
Time and the Seasons, for baritone and piano, commissioned by the Oxford Lieder Festival for Roderick Williams and Andrew West, is a song cycle to Saxton’s own texts and is both cyclic and progressive. Suite for violin and piano, first performed at the 2019 Three Choirs Festival by Madeleine Mitchell and Clare Hammond, the performers here, charts a voyage across its five movements leading to a tentatively positive conclusion. Fantasy Pieces, commissioned by the Fidelio Trio, is inspired by Schumann’s Op. 88 as character pieces, regarding both genre and variety of manner. A Hymn to the Thames for solo oboe and chamber orchestra was commissioned by James Turnbull, the St Paul’s Sinfonia and its Music Director Andrew Morley and, during the course of its four linked movements, sets the soloist as both wanderer and river spirit in conjunction with the ‘river’ of the orchestra from source to sea.