Instrumentation: Two ensembles and
Ensemble 1: oboe, bass clarinet, trumpet in C, viola
Ensemble 2: flute, alto flute, bass trombone, percussion, piano, cello
Date of Composition: 2007
Commissioning Details: Commissioned by the Spitalfields Festival
Premiere: Endymion Ensemble, Richard Baker (cond.), 18 June 2007, Christ Church, Spitalfields, London
Availability: Score and parts available for hire, ref HL383
Three spatially separated ensembles appear in the following
1) Tempo indication is Parlante ('as if speaking') which in this case describes the jerky dialogue between oboe/trumpet and bass clarinet (in its highest register, like a falsetto voice) The viola acts as a compass, always in normal tuning, unlike the microtonally distorted oboe and trumpet.
2) Lower (in pitch) than the first ensemble, a duo of piano and vibraphone is embedded in sustained lines of flutes, trombone and cello. These intermittent wisps of melody become more mechanical.
3) A more florid take on the preceding groups, this violin duo is, in both pitch and spatial placement the highest layer, slithering around within a narrow band of pitches.
In the exposition these three layers are presented in a fairly clear-cut manner, with some overlap where all three are playing at the same time; but as the work progresses they start to congeal and diversify in different ways.
The title occurred to me for various reasons; firstly a particular preoccupation with the original versions of Bruckner's Third and Sibelius's Fifth Symphonies; but also an interest in the brisk developments which have taken place in the Spitalfields area: I am thinking of the demolition of the Bishopsgate Goods Yard (an adjunct to Brick Lane Market: murky archways of which I have cherished memories) and the exciting juxtapositions of modern (ensemble 1) and old architecture (ensemble 2).
it was very enjoyable to return to Christ Church. Poshed-up or
otherwise, the place is magical. The Gabrieli Consort made its usual
appearance here, and Endymion, conducted by Richard Baker, premiered
the first piece to result from the festival's New Music Commission
Fund, Morgan Hayes's Original
Brief but dense - a counterpoint, indeed, of three metrically distinct
and spatially separated layers, one of them a chirruping violin duo in
the reconstructed gallery - though not too dense, and toughly,
microtonally elegant in style, it was an interesting excursion.
Then came the première of the first work commissioned by
Spitalfields New Music Commission Fund. Original Version
is an ambitious piece by the young British composer Morgan Hayes which
sets up complicated interactions between three ensembles.
Two violins high up in the gallery seemed like a pair of invisible chirruping birds; four melody instruments, stage left, tried to unsettle each other with obstreperous micro-tonal inflections; and a sextet, stage right, hurled in low-pitched, murky interjections.
For further information about Morgan
Hayes and his works,
please e-mail Richard Bullen email@example.com