A MONTH IN THE COUNTRY (FOR STRING QUARTET) op.611 (March 2010)



Transcription of the suite for string orchestra
Published by: Highbridge Music Limited
Duration: 13 mins
Sheet Music Available
Full score for sale
Instrumental parts for sale
Full score for hire
Instrumental parts for hire
Recordings Available
Violin Concerto "The Leeds", A Month In The Country, Sinfonietta
Released: 1994
Recorded: 1994
Artists: Christine Edinger (violin), Paul Daniel (conductor), English Northern Philharmonia

Released on Naxos 26th June 2011. Naxos 8.572688

Movements

  • 1: Larghetto 3 minutes 02 seconds
  • 2: Alla marcia 1 minutes 19 seconds
  • 3: Adagio 3 minutes 33 seconds
  • 4: Scherzando 1 minutes 33 seconds
  • 5: Andante espressivo 3 minutes 06 seconds

Notes

In 1986 Howard Blake was commissioned to write the score for the film 'A Month in the Country', directed by Pat O'Connor and produced by Ken Trodd for Euston Films in conjunction with Channel 4. The score won him the British Film Institute's Anthony Asquith Award for Musical Excellence. The film starred Colin Firth, Kenneth Branagh and Miranda Richardson whilst the script was adapted by Simon Gray from the book by J.L.Carr. It is a story of two former soldiers coming to terms with the horrors of the Great War amidst the serenity of the English countryside. One is an archaeologist excavating in a rural churchyard, the other is uncovering a mural as part of the restoration of the church. As sections of the mural gradually re-emerge, so they rediscover themselves and come to terms with the iconoclasm of the first world war.

In 1992 the composer created a concert suite for string orchestra from the film score, a recording of which was made in 1993 by The Northern Philharmonia conducted by Paul Daniel.  This string quartet version of it was created by Howard Blake in March 2010.

Performances

6th January 2017
- 8th January 2017
"The Snowman" with Jaume Comas (narrator), Ana Puche(soprano),The Liverpool String Quartet(Jim Clark,Sarah Hill,Daniel Sanxis,Alex Holladay.) Cesar Franck Piano Quintet with Martin Roscoe (piano) Martin Roscoe (piano), Ana Puche (soprano), Jaume Comas (narrator) and Liverpool String Quartet, Saint Vincent, Castellvell del Camp,Tarragona,Spain, January 6th, 8.00pm (other venues 7,8 tbc)


Day: 6th Jannuary, 2017
Hour: 7:30 pm
Venue: Església de Santa Maria Assumpta
Town: Maspujols

Day: 7h Jannuary, 2017
Hour: 20:30 pm
Venue: Esjlésia de Sant Vicenç Màrtir
Town: Castellvell del Camp


Repertoire:

- Howard Blake (OBE): A MONTH IN THE COUNTRY (FOR STRING QUARTET) (opus
611) THE SNOWMAN CONCERT VERSION for narrator (or film), boy soprano and
orchestra (opus 323)

- Cesar Frank: Quintet for Piano and Strings

- Music from films and traditional Christmas songs.






15th July 2016
- 6th August 2016
Quartet de corda com jubilo, Baix Camp, Tarragona (Consell Comarcal del Baix Camp and Comaigua festival) President: Joaquim Calatayud Casals

MUSIC BY HOWARD BLAKE

STRING QUARTETS PLAYED BY THE QUARTET DE CORDA CUM JUBILO (15, 16, 17 JULY)

' A MONTH IN THE COUNTRY'

'SPIELTRIEB'  (WITH QUARTETS BY SHOSTAKOVICH AND BORODIN)

 TRIOS FOR FLUTE , CLARINET AND PIANO (5 AND 6 AUGUST)

  TRIO FOR FLUTE CLARINET AND PIANO op.25 (January 1964)
A Trio In Three Movements derived from the music of Howard's film 'A few
days'
Movements1: Allegretto  2: Andante - Waltz - Andante 3: Allegro Assai

 SUITE: THE DUELLISTS op.603
An arrangement of music from the Ridley Scott's film 'The Duellists'

  INVOCATION  op.601 (June 2009) Concert piece in one movemen

 PENNILLION  op.600 The and variations

From the piano Music Album "Lifecycle", Mrs. Liana Baronaite chooses some of its pieces to  be played as an introduction for the concert.

OTHER PIECES BY FAURE, SAINT-SAENS, MARTINU AND RAVEL

ARS AUREA SONORA (Jordi Borràs Gelonch, manager)
C/St. Vicenç n7 2nd  43392 CASTELLVELL DEL CAMP (TARRAGONA) SPAIN

17th October 2011

The Edinburgh Quartet celebrated its 50th anniversary by commissioning a quartet with the title 'Spieltrieb' ("the urge to play"), given its first performance in the Queen’s Hall, Edinburgh on February 19th 2010 and since recorded on Naxos along with four other new works. On Monday 17th October they will be playing on BBC Radio 3's 'In Tune' programme.

Reviews


The Score

*Winner of the Anthony Asquith Award for Musical Excellence*

Menu: HomeCastDirectorNovel by J. L. Carr ScreenplayScoreFilmingReviews What’s It All About?AftermathAMITC • The Quest! Roses of Picardy

In the novel the children play hymns for Birkin on their gramophone. In the film they play the WWI hit tune Roses of Picardy, which subtly underlines the theme of Alice Keach, her roses, and lost love.

Roses are shining in Picardy,
In the hush of the silver dew,
Roses are flow'ring in Picardy,
But there's never a rose like you!
And the roses will die with the summertime,
And our roads may be far apart,
But there's one rose that dies not in Picardy,
'Tis the rose that I keep in my heart...

Questions?
Suggestions?

Contact us...

Find the Music:

Buy the sheet music
Buy the recording (and hear excerpts of the score)

The Classical Hymns
Hear the film’s opening Schubert (the flashback)
Hear the film’s Verdi
Hear the closing Schubert (the flash-forward)

A Note on the Score :

The first movement speaks of an idyllic pastoral scene, but a dark shadow lurks beneath the beauty and serenity. The second is a March which sounds almost incongruous played on sweet-toned strings rather than trumpet and drums. The Elegy conveys desolation, man’s inhumanity to man and the overturning of ideals. The fourth movement is a rustic dance, interrupted briefly by a reference to the previous movement. It is as if a young veteran, determined to blot out the horrors of the past and make a new start, is haunted by intrusive memories. The final movement is a resolution. Beauty still exists, though perhaps with added poignancy, and idealism is not dead.
— Miranda Jackson
A Month in the Country, notes on the sheet music

More Info:

Howard Blake’s website

The Snowman on YouTube
Howard Blake 2006 interview (on The Snowman)


Scoring the Picture

Not long after shooting had wrapped in September 1986, a rough cut of A Month in the Country was assembled. Now there was a fresh problem: the production was already over budget and the film had no score. Schubert’s lush hymn Deutsche Messe: Zum Sanctus had been run under Birkin’s flashback to war, and was repeated under the final flash-forward to his memory of redemption. A bit of Verdi had been laid in under Birkin’s work uncovering the mural. But otherwise the picture was rough and silent.

In what might be seen as a quixotic gesture by the makers of a little film on an exhausted budget, the decision was made to approach one of Britain’s foremost composers and ask him to do the job.

Howard Blake recalls: “I was very busy on other projects at the time and wasn’t at all sure I could fit it in. I went to a viewing and saw that the film was very profound, with a serious anti-war theme, but a certain amount of ‘found’ choral music had already been laid in by the editors. Pat O’Connor, the delightful Irish director, seemed keen for me to do it but I said I needed to think about it. He rang a couple of days later and asked if I’d decided. I replied that due to the use of choral inserts I could only see the score working as an elegy for string orchestra and I rather doubted that the producers would agree to such a thing. Pat insisted on seeing me and came over to my studio in Kensington that evening.

“‘Explain what you mean,’ he said, and I explained that I loved the film and I thought the choral/orchestral music worked brilliantly but it was very big and rich and I felt a score would have to emerge from it and be very pure and expressive and quite small — and that I could only hear this in my head as done by strings only.

“‘Play me something to show me what you mean,’ he said, so I talked the film through and improvised on the piano something of what I had in mind and ended by saying: ‘It’s probably not what you had in mind at all?’ At this point, to my great surprise, Pat knelt on the floor and implored me to do the score. He said: ‘It’s exactly right, I can hear everything you’re suggesting and I just love it — please, please do it!’

“How could I possibly refuse?”

Mr. Blake agreed “in lieu of a reasonable fee” to retain the copyright to his music. His score for A Month in the Country was recorded at CTS Studios, Wembley, in November 1986, with Mr. Blake conducting the Sinfonia of London. The Suite for Strings called A Month in the Country was adapted by Mr. Blake from the film, and recorded by Paul Daniel with the English Northern Philharmonia in 1994.

Howard Blake

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2010

Related Works


'A MONTH IN THE COUNTRY' op.374 (November 1986)
Score for the Channel 4 feature film starring Kenneth Branagh and Colin Firth, directed by Pat O'Connor, produced by Ken Trodd. BRITISH FILM INSTITUTE ANTHONY ASQUITH AWARD FOR MUSICAL EXCELLENCE
'SUITE:A MONTH IN THE COUNTRY' op.446 (June 1992) (Audio Sample Available)
A concert work for string orchestra adapted from the film score

Related Autobiography Chapters


Benedict Kloeckner wins European Broadcasting Award with 'Diversions' (2010)

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