- Online Store
- Musical Works
- YouTube Videos
- The Snowman
solo violin, solo cello, 1 flute, 1 ob, 2 clars, 2 bsns, 4 hns, 1 pc, strings
On the afternoon of October 28th 2013, after rehearsing with the cellist Benedict Kloeckner, we talked for a while about double concertos and pondered as to how one might create one. Shortly afterwards I slept for a while and dreamed up first a septuplet 'trill-flourish' motif in C major and then an ensuing 'upward-sweeping' melodic fragment of a minor 2nd and major 7th, both of which I immediately wrote down. I felt at once that this was material ideally suited for violin and cello with piano or orchestral accompaniment and wrote what was to be the first movement as a rhapsodic Andante.
I then felt I needed some sort of 6/8 allegro idea as a bridge passage and worked at several until I suddenly remembered a sort of 'jazz fugue' from an early work called 'Movement for orchestra' which I'd once had played by The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra. It seemed to fit perfectly here, and with some revision formed a perfect link between the Andante (rapsodico) and the next section Tragico.
Tragico begins with the upward-sweeping motif, but now very slow and sad. This forms a bridge and modulation to E-minor where the cello enunciates the theme 'Parting', a fragment I had dreamt up in the summer whilst preparing repertoire for Vladimir Ashkenazy's album of my piano works. But here the 'Parting' theme develops greatly, leading quite rapidly and unexpectedly to a colossal climax, then falling down to a paused low chord of C major which begins section 4.
Grave molto espressivo is a deeply-felt cadenza for violin and cello which then starts to accelerate (piu mosso) towards section 5
Cello and violin play in unison at the 16th against a constantly turning orchestral phrase using the ever-present 'trill-flourish' motif. Martial and tragic hints and twists are now overcome by massive upward scalic movements seeking a major key and suddenly triumphantly asserting that of E major.
Giojoso, ecstatico transforms and inverts the minor 'upward-sweeping' theme into a major 'hymn of triumph' punctuated with huge piano chords. The energy of this is so great however that it must inevitably sink down to regain stability and a hardly-moving harmonic 'thirds duplet' grows gradually quieter and slower until it sinks away to nothing without resolution.
The music of the opening returns but this time in the key to which the piece has ascended - E major, the final bar picking up the 'trill-flourish' motif and giving the whole work a resolution with a very short coda on violin and cello sounding alone - yet perhaps finally together.
|7th September 2017||Howard Blake, composer/pianist/conductor with Benedict Kloeckner (cello), Nicolas D'Autricourt (violin) and Sophie Witte (soprano), The Cadogan Hall,Chelsea,London, September 7th. 2017, 7.30pm
HOWARD BLAKE CONDUCTS AN EVENING OF HIS MUSIC
with The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and soloists
at The Cadogan Hall
September 7th 2017 at 7.30pm
SLEEPWALKING opus 505 for soprano vocalise and full string orchestra
Solo soprano: Sophie Witte.
Tranquillo - Allegretto - Maestoso- Vivace – Adagio – Allegro Furioso – Tranquillo
CONCERTO FOR PIANO AND ORCHESTRA opus 412
Solo piano: Sasha Grynyuk
Tranquillo, Allegro con brio - Andante espressivo - Vivace
DIVERSIONS FOR CELLO AND ORCHESTRA, opus 337
Solo cello; Benedict Kloeckner 23 minutes
Prelude; Scherzo; March; Waltz; Aria; Serenade; Sarabande & Cadenza; Finale
ELEGIA STRAVAGANTE (DUO CONCERTANTE), for violin, cello and orchestra premiere performance 16 minutes
Solo Violin: Nicolas Dautricourt , Solo Cello: Benedict Kloeckner
Orchestration: 1 Flute, 1 Oboe, 2 clarinets, 2 bassoons, 4 horns, 1 percussion (cymbals and tam-tam) and strings
Andante (rapsodico) - Scherzo malizioso - Tragico - Grave, molto espressivo –Allegro furioso - Giojoso, estatico - Andante, come prima
possible postlude: 'WALKING IN THE AIR'