At the core of the work of any conductor is the repertoire they conduct. Long gone are the days when grand old maestri could get by on 30 or 40 works written between 1770 and 1920. In this area of the site you can discover the enormous range of repertoire conducted by Mark Heron, from historically informed performances of Haydn, Mozart & Beethoven through the landmark orchestral works of the late 19th and 20th Centuries, to extensive work with living composers, a specialism in contemporary wind repertoire which has resulted in around around 20 CDs to date, and projects involving artists from other genre such as jazz and world music.
Mark Heron's orchestral work has involved an in depth survey of the standard classical, romantic and 20th Century repertoire.
With 18th and early 19th century repertoire, he has a strong preference for chamber orchestra sized performances and adopts a historically-informed, but flexible, approach to the music of Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven and their contemporaries. Mark has performed all of the Beethoven symphonies in concert, largely with the Liverpool Mozart Orchestra, most of the mature Mozart symphonies, and in recent years has developed an increasing affinity with Haydn. Many classical concerti are in his repertoire and he has given a very well received concert performance of Le Nozze di Figaro with a cast from the RNCM.
Working extensively with both chamber and symphony orchestras, Mark has explored the symphonies of Brahms and Sibelius with both large and more intimate forces. He has performed all of the Brahms symphonies with the Liverpool Mozart orchestra using an "in-between" string section of around 10/8/6/5/3 - informed by the performances of Hans von Bülow with the Meiningen Court Orchestra who gave the premiere of the 4th symphony. This approach also bears fruit with the "smaller" Sibelius symphonies - nos. 3, 4 & 6 in particular - when one remembers that Sibelius had in mind the many small scale Finnish professional orchestras.
Mahler is a composer whose music Mark feels particularly comfortable with, having to date performed the 1st, 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th & 9th symphonies as well as many of the song cycles. His interest in Scandinavian repertoire extends beyond Sibelius to Nielsen and contemporary Finnish & Estonian composers.
His detailed approach to the rehearsal process has been described as particularly well-suited to composers whose large orchestral scores require careful preparation in order to achieve well-balanced performances: readings of works by Strauss such as Don Juan, Till Eulenspiegel, and Rosenkavalier Suite and by Elgar such as In the South, the Violin Concerto, and 2nd Symphony being praised.
Mark's experience with complex contemporary scores stands him in good stead with large scale orchestral masterpieces of the 20th century, such as Bartok (Concerto for Orchestra, Divertimento, Concerto for pianos, percussion & orchestra), Stravinsky (Rite of Spring, Firebird, Petrouchka, Symphony of Psalms, Appollon Musagète), Britten (Sea Interludes, Sinfonia de Requiem, Peter Grimes, Piano Concerto, Violin Concerto), Copland (3rd Symphony, Appalachian Spring, Clarinet Concerto), Prokofiev (5th & 6th symphonies, piano concerti) and many others.