Madeleine Mitchell plays Michael Nyman

Madeleine Mitchell with Michael Nyman

Celebrated violinist Madeleine Mitchell joined the Solihull Symphony Orchestra for her second concert this season as their Artist in Association on Saturday 1 April at Shirley Methodist Church. Madeleine played and introduced three pieces written for her by Michael Nyman in 1993 called "On the Fiddle", in the orchestral version, drawn from Nyman's film scores for Peter Greenaway. This attractive work features on Mitchell's latest acclaimed CD 'In Sunlight: Pieces for Madeleine Mitchell' (NMC D098) consisting of works specially written for her by some of the UK's best known composers. 'A delectable collection of gems in wonderfully empathetic performances' International Record Review 2005

According to Nyman, "After I had decided to write three violin pieces, unified not only by their cinematic origins but more importantly by the alternation of slow and fast music, I discovered the origin of the phrase "on the fiddle" - illegal street gamblers who were running "Find the Lady" sessions would have a member of their gang holding a violin, on the lookout for the police. When a policeman came in view, the "violinist" would pick up his instrument and play (presumably fast music) and the gamblers would disperse into the crowd."

The material of Full Fathom Five comes from Nyman's setting of one of Shakespeare's lyrics in The Tempest, as used in the 1991 Prospero's Books. Angelfish Decay is based on a sequence of music from A Zed And Two Noughts (1985), and was written to accompany a speeded up time lapse sequence in which an animal is seen in the process of decay. Miserere Paraphrase, was written for the film The Cook, The Thief, His Wife And Her Lover (1989), and was originally a setting of the Miserere text of Psalm 51, sung in the film by a boy soprano and mixed chorus.

Madeleine Mitchell, described by the Chief Music Critic of the Times last year as 'one of Britain's liveliest musical forces' has a distinguished international career, performing as a soloist in over 40 countries and most recently in Symphony Hall's international series in February, described by the Birmingham Post as 'mesmerizing..poised and eloquent'. Her next London recital will be at St John's Smith Square on April 28th in violin sonatas by Franck and Ravel.