Thursday, 20 May 2010

Organic Overtures: Howard Goodall's 'The Seasons'

There's no doubt that the days are now really drawing out, with sun-soaked evenings giving urban gardeners nationwide an extra few hours each day to amble on the allotment, brush up on the balcony or potter on the patio. The season is unquestionably changing, with the flourish of springtime blooms and activity now making way for the warm climes of the British summer – perfect for growing plenty of vegetables!

As well as observing the changing seasons on the London Vegetable Garden allotment, I've also been keeping up with ITV's fascinating 'The Seasons' programme. In this four part series for ITV1, everyone’s favourite gardener, Alan Titchmarsh, goes back to his roots to find out how our changing seasons affect everything around us. The series reveals the profound and far-reaching impact that each season has on our wildlife and landscape, and how they shape the way we all live.

Accompanying this great programme is an incredible original soundtrack from award-winning composer, Howard Goodall, inspired by none other than the seasons themselves. Describing the background to his new composition, Goodall says, “Several composers over the centuries have responded musically to the idea of the changing seasons, most notably Vivaldi, Haydn, Spohr, Verdi, Glazunov and Tchaikovsky, but I believe I am the first composer to create my Seasons suite over the period of a year in the respective seasons themselves. I would like to take credit for this approach, but in all honesty the season-by-season time-scale was dictated by the filming schedule of the series.”

I was very kindly sent a copy of the album to review and can honestly say that Goodall's compositions are superb, chronicling each of the seasons so delicately and beautifully with haunting string compositions layered into sweeping arrangements. For those that have enjoyed watching The Seasons on ITV1 so far, or even for fans of classical music in general, Howard Goodall's sublime soundtrack presents the perfect accompaniment to gardening, be it on the balcony, down the allotment or in the back garden.

You can purchase The Seasons album on Amazon by clicking here.

The Seasons is on ITV1 every Sunday night until May 30th, from 7:00 – 8:00PM.

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