Friday, January 11, 2019

Friday, January 11, 2019 12:31 am by M. in , , ,    No comments
The Birmingham News and The Telegraph report the death a few days ago of the composer John Joubert (1927-2019). Quoting from the website devoted to his work:
Born in Cape Town in 1927, John Joubert’s compositional career stretches over 70 years. His catalogue includes over 180 opus numbers, ranging from operas, major orchestral works, concertos for oboe, bassoon, violin, cello and piano, chamber and instrumental music, through to short carols and anthems and a series of major choral-orchestral pieces that place him at the forefront of composers of the generation after Britten and Tippett.
One of the highlights of his vast opus is the opera Jane Eyre (Op 134) (1987-1997),  with libretto by Kenneth Birkin. The opera was finally premiered (in a two-act concert performance) by the English Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Kenneth Woods at The Ruddock Performing Arts Centre in Birmingham in 2016 with considerable success:
The tears in our eyes at the end of this professional premiere of John Joubert’s opera Jane Eyre were quickened not only by the ravishing music of Jane and Rochester’s reconciliation, but also by the sheer emotional importance of the occasion. (Christopher Morley in The Birmingham Post)
In the presence of the composer, there was added poignancy in the standing ovation, and a feeling that something of real value had taken place: an important contribution to the repertoire, deserving of a place on the world opera stage.  (Pamela Nash in Bachtrack)
The performance was published on CD by Somm Recordings in 2017. You can listen to an interview with the author here.

Not the only Brontë-inspired piece by John Joubert though:


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