Friday 24 March 2006

Consummatum est

Well, last night's concert at St. James's Church, Piccadilly, went off in fine style. The Salomon Orchestra were in fine fettle and the programme came out just right. Conductor Adrian Brown proved an excellent mid-wife for my 2 new pieces. The Elegy for Baritone and Orchestra is a substantial, rather dense work which sets Rilke's long poem in its entirety, making it a big sing for the baritone soloist. Baritone, David Greiner, was brilliant and his diction was superb so you could follow the text throughout. I was rather worried about the effect of the piece on the audience, whether they'd be put of by the sheer density of the text and the setting but that proved to be the opposite and it was extremely well received.

In the Barbarian's Camp came off very well, with all the tricky poly-rhythmic passages falling into place. For the second time in a week I found myself having a conversation about how my music was trickier than it looked, that what you saw on the page was deceptive. There were a couple of moments in the final fanfares (re-workings of the brass piece, The Barbarian's are Coming) where I realised that I could improve the balance of the orchestration, but I was on the whole very, very pleased at the way the 8-part brass texture had been expanded to a full orchestral work. The closing quiet string chords, appearing from under the loud brass and wind, had a wonderfully Unanswered Question-ish feel.

There was a recording made. Gil Limor again worked his magic and I look forward to hearing the results.

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