Wait… what… HOW MANY?!
Yes, one hundred.
Assuming we survive Coronavirus, Brexit, Climate Crisis and any number of other obstacles. (And, well, things have changed since I first wrote this text a few weeks ago, so no guarantees.) But, if/when we return to…well…a new normal…in 2/3 years I will have made 100 recordings as a soloist.
This seems like something worth celebrating with a special 100th release. Various ideas went through my head, and always there, was the desire to commission something; rather than a “Carolyn Sings Her Favourite Songs’ album (because ALL my albums are my favourite songs), this is a wonderful opportunity to contribute to the repertoire and support new music.
Chatting to my friend and duo partner Joseph Middleton, he suggested that as Henry Purcell has played an important role in my career, both on record and on stage, I could ask composers to take a Purcell song as a starting point and write something new.
Performing Purcell with piano nearly always involves using the (very fine) realisations* by Benjamin Britten or Michael Tippett. There are a few more contemporary settings, for example, those by Thomas Adès, but not many. So, the idea is to reimagine some songs and create new possibilities to programme Purcell in recitals. After all, Henry himself would have expected his music to sound different in every performance.
So. I wasn’t expecting us all to be in lockdown as I announced this project publicly. But here we are. Stay tuned to hear how it develops. I’m thrilled to say that I’ve got some wonderful composers on board, and I look forward to introducing them.
(UPDATE: the first song has landed, so Blog 2 will feature my first reveal…). I’ll also be sharing the list of the recordings I’ve made to date, so we can complete a sort of slow motion countdown to the Big 100!
*piano parts. More about this terminology in a future blog.