BBC Symphony Orchestra | Proms Youth Ensemble | Sakari Oramo
Royal Albert Hall, London
10th September 2016
Broadcast live on BBC Radio 3, BBC Two and internationally
A BBC Proms Commission for the Last Night of the Proms
"...it was a group making its Last Night debut - the BBC Proms Youth Ensemble - that opened the show and almost stole it. The youngsters gave the premiere of Raze, a punchy orchestral piece (with nods to the pounding riffs of club music) written by Tom Harrold, a profusely talented Scot who is only 25.” The Times
"Raze proved a flamboyant curtain-raiser...boisterous, rhythmically intricate, played with winning enthusiasm." The Standard
"Raze was five minutes of bristling energy and youthful brashness. The brass stabs were searing, the woodwind writing muscular and hectic, and the strings soared above it all.” The Arts Desk
“Raze had a pounding energy driving its low, insistent string fragments..." The Guardian
"thumpingly rhythmical" The Financial Times
Raze is written in one continuous movement which lasts around five minutes, and was commissioned by the BBC Proms to showcase the Proms Youth Ensemble at the Last Night of the Proms. Titles are almost consistently the final decisions I make as part of the writing process, so it was highly unusual for me to decide on Raze as the title before the piece had even been sketched. I rarely intend to write programmatic music, but in this instance I use the title as a 'way in' to the work. Raze means ‘clear the way’, ‘overthrow’, and ‘knock down’ - exactly the impact Raze is designed to have at a noisy, carnival-like concert such as the Last Night of the Proms.
The piece is a collage of angular, brash musical moments which are linked through a series of repeating intervals and melodic motifs, all of which are underpinned by swaggering, brooding bass-lines. The work is characterised by sour, baleful strings, blaring brass, and cacophonous, raucous winds which ‘raise’, soar, and hurtle towards the climax.
Raze is dedicated to the BBC Symphony Orchestra, Proms Youth Ensemble, and Sakari Oramo.