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Roxanna Panufnik

Roxanna Panufnik b.1968 ARAM, GRSM(hons), LRAM studied composition at the Royal Academy of Music and, since then, has written a wide range of pieces – opera, ballet, music theatre, choral works, orchestral and chamber compositions, and music for film and television – which are performed all over the world.

Roxanna has a great love of world music and she is especially interested in building musical bridges between faiths and her first project in this field was the violin concerto “Abraham”, commissioned for Daniel Hope, incorporating Christian, Islamic and Jewish chant to create a musical analogy for the fact that these three faiths believe in the same one God. This work was subsequently converted into an overture for the World Orchestra for Peace and premiered in Jerusalem and London under the baton of Valery Gergiev, in 2008 and at the 2014 BBC Proms.

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Kyrie after Byrd

A reflection on the Kyrie of Byrd’s 5-part Mass

When new super-choir ORA came to me, asking for a Kyrie that related to Byrd’s Mass for Five Voices, I immediately went to Youtube to listen to Byrd’s original. I loved the way that the melody of the first Kyrie eleison almost immediately transposes and capitalized on this harmonically by taking my version through several quite chromatic changes and adding an extra bass voice, thereby extra harmonic potential. I’ve kept the Christe eleison as a calmer and more ethereal section, floating gently back into the chromatic Kyrie, which almost forgets itself in harmonic and dramatic propriety but suddenly takes stock of itself and ends with quiet reverence.

WORLD PREMIERE: 10th February 2016, Tower of London

ALBUM: Upheld by Stillness

“Roxanna Panufnik’s luminous Kyrie, which takes the opening soprano phrase from Byrd’s original and leads it through a series of chromatic sea­ changes which are appropriately rich and strange”-
— Katherine Cooper, Presto Classical