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  • Concert Music » Christopher Gunning
    parts available for hire Concerto for clarinet and String Orchestra Recorded by Michael Whight solo clarinet with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by the composer available on the Discovery label from January 14th 2013 Score and parts available for hire Concerto for oboe and String Orchestra Recorded by Verity Gunning and the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by the composer released by Chandos in May 2009 Please see discography Score and parts available for hire Piano Concerto for piano and orchestra Recorded by Olga Dudnik with the Slovak Radio Symphony Orchestra conducted by the composer Please see discography Score and parts available for hire Poirot Fantasy Commissioned by Anja Bukovec this is a series of elaborate variations on the Poirot theme for violin and symphony orchestra commissioned performed and recorded by Anja Bukovec with the Slovenian Radio Symphony Orchestra and performed by her at numerous venues Concerto for Soprano Saxophone On Hungerford Bridge Recorded by John Harle with the Academy of St Martin s in the Fields conducted by the composer Performed by John Harle with the Manchester Cmaerata conducted by the composer 1997 John Harle and the BBC Concert Orchestra QEH 2000 report available here Several other performances in Europe There are two versions available for hire full symphony orchestra and chamber orchestra Woodland Trails for two pianos Commissioned by Pamela Ross and Seth Grosshandler and to be performed by them in New York City Poirot Variants Performed many times in the UK and abroad at the Queen Elizabeth Hall Barbican Hall Royal Albert Hall and Royal Festival Hall London and also by several young musician s orchestras The original version is for alto saxophone and symphony orchestra and there is now a version for wind band which has been recorded by the Central Band of the RAF A new

    Original URL path: http://www.christopher-gunning.co.uk/concert-music/ (2016-02-16)
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  • Music composed by Christopher Gunning – audio clips. » Christopher Gunning
    2 2011 Home About Christopher Buy CDs Film TV scores Concert Music Listen Discography Shop Videos Reviews Gallery Writings My Works Concert Reviews Blog Contact Follow Me HOME ABOUT BUY CDs FILM TV SCORES CONCERT MUSIC LISTEN DISCOGRAPHY VIDEOS REVIEWS

    Original URL path: http://www.christopher-gunning.co.uk/samples/ (2016-02-16)
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  • Discography » Christopher Gunning
    on a three note motif C D G with it s four possible transpositions More Info Purchase Poirot Christopher Gunning composed the iconic theme music for Agatha Christie s Poirot and the incidental music for series 1 and 3 9 More Info Purchase Concertos for Guitar Clarinet and Flute Christopher Gunning worked closely with all three soloists whom he counts as friends Throughout the CD the soloists are complimented by superb playing by members of the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Christopher Gunning More Info Purchase Purchase from Amazon The Film and Television Music of Christopher Gunning The BBC Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Ruman Gamba play Christopher Gunning s film and TV music including Agatha Christie s Poirot La Vie en Rose Pollyanna When the Whales Came Cold Lazarus Firelight Lighthouse Hill and Rebecca This is the 2nd disk in an ongoing series of recordings of CG s music on the CHANDOS label More Info Purchase Skylines A CD containing the theme from Poirot and other Gunning instrumentals now available for purchase on this web site More Info Purchase La Mome aka La Vie En Rose Soundtrack from the film starring Marion Cotillard as Edith Piaf The album contains some of Piaf s most famous songs and 7 extracts from Christopher Gunning s award winning score More Info Purchase Symphony 3 Symphony 4 Concerto for Oboe and String Orchestra Symphony no 3 was composed in 2005 during a very turbulent year for the composer Symphony no 4 composed in 2007 is more direct and tonal an expression of triumph over adversity The Oboe Concerto was composed as a Christmas present for Christopher s daughter Verity who performs it here with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra This is the first disc of an ongoing series of music by Christopher Gunning on the CHANDOS label More Info Purchase Concerto for Piano and Orchestra Symphony no 1 and Storm Olga Dudnik piano with the Slovak Radio Symphony Orchestra conducted by the composer Albany Troy686 More Info Purchase Agatha Christie s Poirot Music from the award winning series conducted by Christopher Gunning Virgin VT CD8 More Info Purchase Firelight The original sound track conducted by Christopher Gunning Silva Screen Film CD 198 More Info Purchase When the Whales Came The original soundtrack conducted by Christopher Gunning Silva Screen Film CD 049 More Info Purchase Karaoke and Cold Lazarus The London Symphony Orchestra conducted by Christopher Gunning Silva Screen Film CD 181 More Info Purchase Rosemary Thyme Composed and conducted by Christopher Gunning Features John Williams guitar Sanctuary Pure Classics CD PCACD002 More Info Purchase The Big Battalions The original soundtrack conducted by Christopher Gunning Air Edel AHL CD6 More Info Purchase The Lobster Thoughts of a crustacean upon entering a trap Words by Nick Darke Narrated by Nicole Tibbels The Mephisto Ensemble Meridian CDE 84498 More Info Purchase Wild Africa The original soundtrack of the BBC TV series composed and conducted by Christopher Gunning BBC Worldwide WMSF 6049 2 More Info Purchase Yorkshire Glory A

    Original URL path: http://www.christopher-gunning.co.uk/discography/ (2016-02-16)
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  • Videos » Christopher Gunning
    Guitar Clarinet and Flute The Film and TV Music of Christopher Gunning January 30 2013 Home About Christopher Buy CDs Film TV scores Concert Music Listen Discography Shop Videos Reviews Gallery Writings My Works Concert Reviews Blog Contact Follow Me

    Original URL path: http://www.christopher-gunning.co.uk/videos/ (2016-02-16)
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  • Reviews » Christopher Gunning
    of Symphony 1 Concerto for Piano and Orchestra and Sorm in Musical Opinion Christopher Gunning born in 1944 is best known for his music for TV advertisements and drama piogiammcs this being the first CD devoted exclusively to his recent serious compositions It has the advantage of an excellent recording and as the composer proves himself to be a more than efficient conductor of his own works we may admire the authenticity of the performances It is also clear that Olga Dudnik is a gifted pianist who plays with style and virtuosity when called upon The Piano Concerto was written in 2001 and is in three movements There are varied influences to be discerned in this work notably from Stravinsky and Prokofiev and whilst the writing is effective and the composer possesses added qualities of clarity and directness of expression the material itself does not have the memorability of Gunning s work in popular areas On the other hand the layout of this piece uses inherently traditional structures with considerable assurance and the orchestration is admirably natural Gunning uses a fuller orchestra in the Symphony which comes from 2002 and is similarly assured in its handling of colour and structure This one movement work is in five broad sections and reflects a genuine sense of growth in the broadest sense which justifies the composition s title The influences hete range from post minimalism Malcolm Arnold and Shostakovich to placing too great a reliance on ostinato in the generating of such tensions as the work possesses We are forced back on the lack of truly distinctive thematic invention which is the most serious criticism I can make as my anticipations are often too readily met Storm sounds like ten minutes of music from a 1970s Hollywood disaster movie Many listeners however will be attracted by Gunning s undoubted musicality and his variegated mastery of the orchestra ROBERT MATTHEW WALKER Review of The Big Battalions in Soundtrack Collector The beautiful and sometimes serene music was composed by Christopher Gunning This release seemed to be out of print for a long time but is now again available You can mail Marc van Peteghem from Dune Records in Belgium for more info He has the exclusive world rights for this release Click here for Marc s email address Review of Firelight in Musicfromthemovies com Reviewed by Mikael Carlsson One of my favourite composers is the British gentleman Christopher Gunning who has a wonderful style and deserves a steady place in the spotlight His scores for Under Suspicion Cold Lazarus and When The Whales Came are but a few examples of his tremendous talent I am equally enthusiastic about his latest score Firelight a passionate and deeply romantic score recalling some of Georges Delerue s most expansive scoring This is a melodic work with several strong themes sensitively performed on solo piano flute cello or violin evoking equally strong emotions The score also have a sense of mysticism which often transforms into a darker treatment

    Original URL path: http://www.christopher-gunning.co.uk/reviews/ (2016-02-16)
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  • Gallery » Christopher Gunning
    in the garden 9 Photos Winter 2010 2011 8 Photos Portraits 9 Photos Awards 8 Photos No images may be used without permission October 11 2011 Home About Christopher Buy CDs Film TV scores Concert Music Listen Discography Shop Videos Reviews Gallery Writings My Works Concert Reviews Blog Contact Follow Me HOME ABOUT BUY CDs FILM TV SCORES CONCERT MUSIC LISTEN DISCOGRAPHY VIDEOS REVIEWS GALLERY WRITINGS CONTACT WEBSITE DESIGN JULIE

    Original URL path: http://www.christopher-gunning.co.uk/gallery/ (2016-02-16)
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  • Blog » Christopher Gunning
    are given a longish melody which is taken up by the upper strings and in the final pages the whole orchestra bursts forth with increasingly entangled perrorations There is no doubting the skill and seriousness of this composer and Vir has produced a work of great interest and drama The thrills and spills from the orchestra are terribly impressive there are also formiddable parts for the piano and harp and a gigantic percussion section If I grew impatient with what I perceived as a certain lack of connection from episode to episode my feelings were not shared by all My friend loved every minute of it and when I dared express a slightly negative view grew rather cross so I will listen again on iPlayer and I suggest dear reader that you listen for yourself too The next item Sibelius s Violin Concerto also presented some difficulties It s a great favourite of mine and I m sorry to say this performance did not always do it for me Lisa Batiashvili is a very confident and gifted player and barring one or two excusable intonation fluffs negotiated the first movement s technical difficulties as if most didn t exist However this movement was curiously lacking in drama or sufficient depth of expression partly this was due to her resistance to take her time over things generally it all seemed quite breathless to me Did the orchestra also feel as if on auto pilot Strange The second movement fared better although once again I felt soloist and orchestra could have lingered a little more In the final movement Batiashvili displayed her formiddable technique and seemed happiest here Her encore was an arrangement of Tsintsadze s Lele a Georgian piece few would have known prior to the concert but charming in its way The Celtic Symphony is one of several Bantock works to be performed at the Proms this year following a lengthy period of almost total neglect During his own lifetime things were remarkably different and Bantock was regarded as one of Britain s greatest composers much admired by Elgar and Vaughan Williams among others The late Vernon Handley was largely responsible for keeping the Bantock flame from bbeing totally extintuished but despite ardent support from him and some other dedicated supporters Bantock has remained a background figure talked of in respectful terms but seldom played His music is steeped in tradition in general and the functional tonality of the late romantics in particular Once Vaughan Williams and then the likes of Britten and Tippett came on the scene Bantock s world became an unfashionable one but now we can listen once again with fresh ears and it will be interesting to see if his music gains general support once more It would be thrilling to report that this almost forgotten man s work reveals blazing genius but the Celtic Symphony doesn t quite support such a view Bantock s world is a quieter more intimate place where gentle melodies and sometimes mystical harmonies reside The Celtic Symphony is beautifully written for his chosen string orchestra and wait for it six harps We are in the dreamy landscapes of Scotland but with dance like rhythms and themes never far away The mysterious atmospheres were beautifully presented by Oramo the pianissimo strings perfectly balanced and oh so breathtakingly quiet When things livened up the strings responded to Oramo with joyous vivacity and we were reminded of Sibelius s more energetic moments or even Bartok s flirtations with folk dance music The whole piece was really beautifully played including the one area towards the end where the harps predominate It s all lovely unpretentious and never pushy and if you tire of the full square phrases and to twenty first century ears relatively unadventurous rhythms then perhaps you can enjoy some quietitude and Scottish geniality I loved Oramo s appraoch to the Enigma Variations too This is a conductor determined to get to grips with British music and how thankful we should be for that There was nothing to object to in his choice of tempi for each variation no major surprises no distortions no gimmics Moreover there was plenty to admire as the various soloists from the BBC SO took their turns If I mention Richard Hosford s clarinet solo in Romanza and Norbert Blume s viola solo in Ysobel I don t mean to belittle the many other solo passages which caught my ear all were excellent If I didn t burst into tears during Nimrod this time it s no matter there were several other variations that brought a tightened brow the whimsical Dorabella and B G N for instance I would have preferred to hear more from the organ yes MORE from the Albert Hall s organ during the finale where as my friend remarked you hear Elgar returning home after visiting his friends but never mind Oramo still brought this work and this concert to a splendid conclusion Christopher Gunning August 22 2013 PROM 51 20 h August 2013 Royal Albert Hall London Tippett Britten Elgar Ian Bostridge tenor London Symphony Orchestra Daniel Harding conductor Tippett Fanfare no 5 Fanfare from The Mask of Time arr M Bowen 1986 Tippett Concerto for Double String Orchestra 1938 9 Britten Les Illuminations Op 18 1939 Elgar Symphony no 2 in Eb major Op 63 1909 11 Tonight s concert by the LSO was dedicated to the memory of Sir Colin Davis who would have conducted it had he not died in April of this year Roger Wright in a programme tribute wrote that Sir Colin would have included a symphony by Sibelius as well as the works by Britten and Tippett Davis loved Sibelius but in the event we had Elgar s 2 nd Symphony instead included because it is a piece which contains farewell references it is by a composer close to Colin s heart and of whose music he was such a very fine interpreter If you thought this programme was to be a safe celebration of British music from the early 20 th Century think again All three composers in their different ways were affected by the politics of the period and this was one of several reasons why the evening proved to be so interesting and affecting For me the Tippett fanfare performed with appropriate gusto by the LSO s brass and percussion managed to outstay its welcome even in its brief 5 minutes but if it s hardly top drawer stuff the Concerto for Double String Orchestra most certainly is Its sprightly jazz influenced rhythms knocked players aback in the 1940 s and it took a recording by the young Benjamin Britten for concert promoters and audiences to wake up to the fact that this is a highly original brilliantly constructed and wonderfully attractive piece But this is not simply easy listening music In 1939 Britain was about to be plunged into WW2 and it shows in the uneasy counterpoint between opposing forces as well as the deeply expressive music in the central slow movement Many of Tippett s hallmarks are to be found here the counterpoint stems from Baroque influences the forms hark back to Beethoven and of course those bluesy jazzy melodic inflections which help give much of Tippett s music its very personal flavour are present too That middle movement is particularly beautiful and here Tippett s love of folksong plays a role If both Tippett and Britten were to react against the nostalgia of Vaughan Williams s view of folk material and find new ways of doing things they both shared the senior master s love of it In 2013 players no longer find any difficulty in tackling Tippett s cross rhythms as was demonstrated by the strings of the LSO under Harding The outer movements were lively and pointed and the middle movement simply beautiful with calmly expressive solos from Carmine Lauri the leader and Rebecca Gilliver cello Overall I loved the unforced way in which the piece was interpreted by the soloists and ensemble as a whole Britten was working on Les Illuminations at the same time as Tippett on his Double Concerto and juxtaposing the two works demonstrated some of the radically different ways in which the two composers thought as well as some similarities Britten would always be the more natural of the two composing at a rate of knots and producing works with a flair for melody texture colour and a genius for working in relatively small scale forms which nevertheless pack a powerful emotional punch No doubt some of the turbulence of the settings is attributable to the imminent war Britten like Tippett was to become a conscientious objector and sought temporary refuge in the US and how destabilising the times must have been to the young composer The nine main sections which make up Les Illuminations are settings of poems by Arthur Rimbaud whose hallucinatory way of looking at things greatly appealed to Britten The string writing is astonishingly fluent and varied for a composer in his mid twenties and the word setting already shows Britten in command of techniques which would see him through to the end of his life even if he would always be happiest when setting the English language How lucky we were to have the opportunity of hearing the remarkable Ian Bostridge let loose on this early and appealing work Clear diction perfect intonation a vocal quality which simply melts your heart but is strong enough to carry to the farthest reaches of the Albert Hall what more could you possibly want One almost felt Bostridge to be a perfect synthesis of Rimbaud and Britten as he swooped and dived yet gave us sensual cantabile lines when needed I felt this to be a quite outstanding performance with Harding and the LSO s strings doing everything just perfectly And yes of course we thought of Colin Davis and all our other departed friends in the final Départ So moving And so to the major work of the evening and Elgar s 2 nd Symphony has never enjoyed the popularity of his 1 st One reason is pretty obvious it doesn t have a main theme of the sort that opens and closes the 1 st Also it doesn t end triumphantly and people were expecting that sort of thing from Elgar No this is the work of an older man perhaps even by now if not disillusioned then chastened and far more experienced and undoubtedly worried by the political situation that would shortly lead to WW1 The second movement is among Elgar s most heartfelt creations but throughout this long important work there are contrasts and conundrums These sometimes rapid changes of mood are important in a performance judging the constant ebbing and flowing becomes the crucial task of the conductor It is the success or failure of this which makes performances stand out Several on record have got it right One may cite Boult Andrew Davis Barbirolli Handley and of course Sir Colin Davis who performed the work memorably with the LSO relatively recently in 2010 Daniel Harding did well tonight very well His was a reading with plenty of vitality but sensitivity too with tempi generally slower than the composer s own This may have had a slightly dislocating effect in the first movement which I must confess to being my least favourite of the symphony anyway but elsewhere I found myself much in sympathy with his reading The slow movement was frequently exquisite the 3rd romped along brilliantly and the strange mysterious last movement flowed as it should and the all important ending was beautifully quiet and uneasy What a shame some clot in the audience felt it necessary to jump in with applause long long before Harding had lowered his baton The silence which Harding obviously sought and should follow music of this intensity and meaning was rudely destroyed I thought the LSO played magnificently We all know this is a splendid orchestra with fine principals but nevertheless performances can vary from excellent to stunning Tonight it was stunning They love playing for Harding as well they should Christopher Gunning August 21 2013 PROM 44 15 h August 2013 Royal Albert Hall London Stravinsky Penderecki Debussy Ravel Arto Noras cello Leonard Elschenbroich cello Daniel Muller Schott cello Royal Philharmonic Orchestra Charles Dutoit conductor Stravinski Fireworks 1908 revised 1909 Krzysztof Penderecki Concerto Grosso 2000 2001 Debussy La Mer 1903 5 Ravel Daphnis et Chloé 1909 12 Suite no 2 The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra plays but one Prom every year and this time it was their artistic director and principal conductor who led the proceedings Charles Dutoit s association with the orchestra goes back some fifty years He is much loved by the players and one could expect extra special results as you will see we were not disappointed Stravinsky s early work was much influenced by his teacher Rimsky Korsakov and in 1908 when the younger composer finished the first score of Fireworks he sent it to his master for approval However it was returned unopened because Rimsky Korsakov had died I am sure he would have approved of it with its dazzling orchestration and abundant wit and nowadays its interest is in its foretastes of The Firebird Petrouchka and Le Chant du Rossignol among other significant early works If the performance tonight felt a little hesitant at first it soon gathered momentum during its brief four minutes and by the end we had glimpses of the virtuosity this orchestra is certainly capable of There was now an irritatingly long break in the programme while the violins trooped off and the stage was rearranged to accommodate the three solo cellists featured in the next work Mostly elegiac was an overheard comment from a member of the audience talking about Penderecki s Concerto Grosso It s a long time since the composer was dubbed an enfant terrible of the avant garde with his Threnody to the Victims of Hiroshima Penderecki s style has undergone changes and frequently embraces tonality influences as diverse as Bruckner Shostakovich Brahms and Liszt have been absorbed and the result is his own fusion of 19 th and 20 th Century idioms The Concerto Grosso sets the three cellos against a normal symphony orchestra but the composer wisely uses the orchestra for the most part rather sparingly Each of the three soloists has his own opportunities to rise above the orchestral textures the individual lines being often highly expressive At the outset each cellist plays his own solo and it is only after this that all three play together A similar process is repeated towards the end The piece subdivides into six sections played without a break and it s not all slow even if the mostly elegiac impression is what one is left with There are energetic dance like sections but there is an inevitability about the way their energy dissipates into thoughtful lyricism once more Dutoit has championed this work performing it far and wide and clearly has the measure of it Likewise the soloists were all terrific all three expressing the music with intense passion and commitment The sounds are frequently beautiful but I did feel there could have been a greater variety of texture overall Nevertheless it seemed a faultless performance As chance would have it I was in Eastbourne a couple of days ago where ensconced with his pregnant mistress soon to become his wife in the Grand Hotel Debussy completed La Mer Plenty of sea images were scudding through my mind therefore as the RPO feasted on this iconic impressionist masterpiece Dutoit is never more at home than in this French music his recordings with the Orchestre Symphonique de Montréal quickly became favourites in the 90 s and are still reckoned to be among the best Tonight he led the RPO through a performance in which every nuance was savoured but never at the expense of the narrative flow Dutoit is particularly alert to the dramatic qualities of the score with constantly flexible tempi and gorgeously detailed colours We heard the most superb pianissimos from the strings sublimely sensitive solos from the woodwind and bursts of ferocity and majesty when needed from the brass and percussion I loved the way momentum was built up in the second movement where one could not help seeing and hearing the waves pounding along and the wind in your face And in the third movement things were as stormy as you could possibly want There may be other more measured and refined ways of doing La Mer but I defy anyone to bring off a more vivid and altogether salty performance for me it was almost like hearing the piece for the first time and I ll not forget the experience in a hurry I can t help feeling a trifle short changed when Ravel s Daphnis et Chloé is performed without the choir Also I love much of music in part one of the ballet too but had to be content with the 2 nd Suite tonight which Ravel himself prepared Fortunately Dutoit s reading had all the same qualities he had brought to La Mer The opening Daybreak scene was beautifully atmospheric with Dutoit emphasising the bird calls perhaps a little more strongly than usual The long melodies were perfectly judged in the strings and the whole section had just enough momentum to avoid sentimentality Glorious Moving on I delighted in John Anderson s oboe solos and then it was the turn of Emer McDonough to enchant us with her ravishing flute solo The final Danse General was taken at a fast lick but it didn t feel rushed until perhaps the very end It was superbly exciting with tremendous rhythmic verve and all in all this was a terrific performance and a fitting end to an unforgettable concert The members of the RPO had played their socks off

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  • My Works » Christopher Gunning
    small and I have felt it isn t solely the fault of music lovers The idioms favoured by most composers particularly during the 60 s and 70 s have been difficult Indeed much contemporary music is still just as difficult and I have found myself out of sympathy with much of it And yet at the same time I have not relished the thought of being a fuddy duddy composer writing in worn out idioms I suppose I was trying to define a way in which I could write music which communicates directly but is not hopelessly predictable or slave to the various isms which have cropped up over the past fifty years or so For me the breakthrough happened about ten years ago when I was out of work and badly needed something to do I found myself writing a saxophone concerto now recorded by John Harle and then several other pieces Of these I am most fond of the Piano Concerto in it I found the basis of a style of working which had been eluding me to some extent I ve enlarged on that since and my most recent efforts are the 3rd and 4th Symphonies and the Oboe Concerto newly released on the excellent Chandos label The two symphonies are each in single 20 minute movements but they are quite different in tone from one another I hardly dare describe the life events that led to the 3rd My new wife Svitlana had become desperately ill was misdiagnosed in a London hospital and operated on in Kiev Ukraine in early 2005 She then developed peritonitis and was on life support for several days From these two operations Sveta did not recover for two years and her condition deteriorated to the point where we all thought she would pass away at any moment Simultaneously I was diagnosed with a heart condition with pretty dreadful survival rates So I couldn t travel to Kiev and the two of us endured these worrying times in separate countries One of the doctor s recommendations for my condition was to walk as much as feasible I took this seriously and one of the places I loved to visit was Wales and the Brecon Beacons I found the rawness of the mountains beguiling and was particularly attracted to the changing light patterns which pervade the area It is astonishing how the mountains can be hospitable one moment and the next anything but I saw a parallel with certain musical devices the same material changed perhaps radically by reworking the same notes to different effect The result is that In this symphony everything is derived from the opening dissonant chords for several weeks I was obsessed with them And when I was at home I would look at pictures of Pen y Fan and want to be there By the time I came to write symphony no 4 much had changed thankfully for the better I had found a miraculous doctor in Kiev

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