PIANO QUINTET - FANTASY - 'A MIDSUMMER NIGHT'S DREAM' for violin, viola, cello, contrabass, piano and soprano op.677 (February 2016)

A concert chamber work adapted from the orchestral suite of Shakespeare's 'A Midsummer Night's Dream'
Published by: Highbridge Music
Commissioned by: Benedict Kloeckner for the Coblenz Festival 2016
Instrumentation: violin, viola, cello, contrabass, piano and solo soprano

[Key to Abbreviations]
Note on Lyrics: William Shakespeare
Duration: 14 mins
First Performance: International Music Festival Koblenz, September 3rd 2016

Movements

  • 1: How slow this old moon wanes
    Nocturne, Larghetto misterioso
  • 2: Enter Bottom the weaver
    Robusto, giocoso
  • 3: How now spirit, wither wander you?
    Presto
  • 4: Ill-met by moonlight
    Misterioso
  • 5: I heard a mermaid on a dolphin's back
    Reverie (vocalise) Melodioso
  • 6: Ye spotted snakes (song, soprano)
    Con spirito
  • 7: The ass's head
    Presto
  • 8: Flight to fairy-land
    Molto animato
  • 9: Hermia sleeps
    Molto tranquillo
  • 10: Triumphal march
    Grandioso
  • 11: Rustic dance
    Allegro con spirito
  • 12: Celebration
    Vivo
  • 13: Farewell
    Piu tranquillo (with vocalise)

Notes

Commissioned by cellist Benedict Kloeckner as a companion-piece to the great Quintet 'Die Forelle' by Schubert and having the same instrumentation, with the addition of an optional part for soprano voice

Based on the music composed for the Royal Shakespeare Company's feature film production of the play 1995. See also opus 656.

Written also as a celebration of the anniversary of Shakespeare's death in 1616

 

Performances

2nd October 2016
- 3rd October 2016
Nicolas Dautricourt(violin), Lech Uszynsky (viola), Benedict Kloeckner (cello), Edicson Ruiz (double-bass), Howard Blake (piano), Sophie Witte (solo soprano), Internationales Musikfestival Koblenz

 Sunday 2nd October, 21.00 pm - late-evening concert

[Notes by the composer]

'SLEEPWALKING'

A work for soprano, cello and piano

The work's title is also the title of this late-night concert -'Sleepwalking', the European premiere of a work for soprano vocalise, solo cello and piano. It conjures up the world of dreams, evoking the surreal landscape of the unconscious through which a woman walks, singing wordlessly with closed eyes like a painting by Fuseli or Delvaux. As it begins she lies in a deep untroubled sleep (Tranquillo). Images of childhood (Allegretto) give way to memories of a great occasion -perhaps a marriage? (Maestoso). A crazily-animated helter-skelter of notes suggests laughter and gaiety, yet with fears and dangers (Vivace). There is a memory of tragic , yearning love  (Adagio) but the memory is broken by nightmare images of vengeance and death (Allegro Furioso). There is a waking moment, then a return to sleep (Tranquillo).

 Monday 3rd October 5.00pm - Farewell concert

PIANO QUINTET

Fantasy for Piano Quintet and soprano

 The world-premiere performance of a new Piano Quintet, for violin, viola, cello, double-bass and piano with solo soprano, commissioned by The International Music Festival Koblenz as a companion-piece to the great Quintet 'Die Forelle' by Schubert and having the same instrumentation.  The material is adapted from the music for 'A Midsummer Night's Dream' originally composed by Howard Blake for the Royal Shakespeare Company's feature-film of Shakespeare's play (1995) and this performance also celebrates the 400th anniversary of the Bard (1616-2016) It is in 13 linked movements:


  • 1: How slow this old moon wanes
    Nocturne, Larghetto misterioso
  • 2: Enter Bottom the weaver
    Robusto, giocoso
  • 3: How now spirit, wither wander you?
    Presto
  • 4: Ill-met by moonlight
    Misterioso
  • 5: I heard a mermaid on a dolphin's back
    Reverie (vocalise) Melodioso
  • 6: Ye spotted snakes (song, soprano)
    Con spirito
  • 7: The ass's head
    Presto
  • 8: Flight to fairy-land
    Molto animato
  • 9: Hermia sleeps
    Molto tranquillo
  • 10: Triumphal march
    Grandioso
  • 11: Rustic dance
    Allegro con spirito
  • 12: Celebration
    Vivo
  • 13: Farewell
    Piu tranquillo (with vocalise)



 


Related Works


'MIDSUMMER NIGHT'S DREAM (SHAKESPEARE) - SUITE FOR ORCHESTRA' op.656 (March 2014)
A suite for 3 sopranos and small orchestra created from the music of Adrian Noble's Royal Shakespeare Company film

Related Autobiography Chapters


'The Land of Counterpane', an animated film (2015)

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