Alan Tongue presents A CAMBRIDGE MASS by Ralph Vaughan Williams
In 2007, Alan Tongue unearthed an unpublished and never performed work by the great British composer Ralph Vaughan Williams from his mid-twenties: his exercise for the Cambridge Doctor of Music degree. After many months transcribing the Mass, Alan conducted its World Première at the Fairfield Halls in Croydon on 3 March 2011.
Listen to this interview with BBC R4 about Alan, his discovery and love for English music:
About Alan Tongue
Alan Tongue believes he was lucky to have inspirational teachers. Celibidache, one of the 20th century’s great conductors, had a flair for teaching. Alan's choral technique he learnt later from Robert Shaw. Before them Thurston Dart was an influence on the interpretation of music.
1990 to present: freelance conductor, working in Romania, Hungary, Czech Republic, Argentina, Bolivia, Ireland, UK.
1990-3: Chief Conductor of Northern Sinfonietta (‘Kevin O’Connell’s Violin Concerto could scarcely have had a better première’ - Belfast Telegraph).
1986-92: Chief Conductor of Northern Ireland Symphony (won the Novello Award in Edinburgh in 1991, showing ‘outstanding interpretation and a genuine understanding of new music in the general repertoire’).
1990: Author ‘A Picture of Percy French’ - Greystone Press.
1978-89: Television Producer, BBC NI
1973-6: Musical Director of The Big Band (‘well worth going 113 miles for’ - The Irish Times).
1981-6: Chief Conductor of Studio Symphony Orchestra (‘one must hand the palm to conductor Alan Tongue who welded together the many disparate elements to produce a performance that clearly delighted the audience’ - Belfast Telegraph).
1967-78: Producer and Staff Conductor, BBC NI Orchestra.
…showed himself to be an orchestral conductor with a mastery of baton technique
The Planets - Adevarul de Cluj
With elegant gestures he produced moments of meditation and profound lyricism from this great work, real romantic Beethoven
Beethoven 4 - Cotidianul, Bucharest
Often a spiritual quality about this sensitive performance which moved me greatly
Tallis Fantasia - Belfast Telegraph
...finishing triumphantly with the tumultuous magnificence of Beethoven’s music... last Thursday’s concert was a great success. ...under the musical leadership of Alan Tongue the emotional vibration was much stronger than on previous occasions in which I participated... the English conductor, who studied at the Faculty of Music at Cambridge University, and a former pupil of the great Sergiu Celibidache, has himself had a brilliant career. The conductor’s innate talent and prodigious experience were particularly telling, offering a great interpretation of Beethoven’s famous work.
Beethoven 3 - Impact, Oradea
Tongue gathered the orchestra into one single vibrant instrument.
Tchaikovsky 4 - Actualitatea Muzicala, Bucharest
War Requiem - Belfast News Letter
Real festival fare, this heartwarming and clearly well rehearsed performance was a credit to Mr Tongue and his forces.
Rachmaninov 2 -Belfast Telegraph
All through Mr Tongue allows the players scope for expressive touches, a generosity well justified.
Enigma Variations - Irish Times
A triumph for conductor Alan Tongue - great credit must be given to him for his fine appreciation of the score.
Sir John in Love - Bath Chronicle
Tongue went straight for the romance and he got it.
Rachmaninov 2 - Belfast News Letter