Views
6 months ago

Michael Berkeley 2018 All works

Nettles High voice &

Nettles High voice & piano 9780193451537 These two short songs are set to texts by A E Housman and Edward Thomas. 5 minutes Speaking Silence Baritone & piano 9780193451513 A beautifully constructed song-cycle set to poems from Christina Rosetti to WB Yeats, and Pontus de Tyard. Exploring the themes of yearning and longing at the end of a love affair, the subject of the texts focus largely on a desire for rest and even oblivion. The music responds accordingly, ranging from the bright and chromatic to simple, poignant settings of folk-inspired tunes. 20 minutes Three Rilke Sonnets Soprano solo & ensemble (fl.(+b.fl), ob., cl.(+b.cl.), hn, hp, vln, vla, vc., d.b.) Conductor’s score and parts on hire/rental 9780193378889 A setting of three sonnets from Sonnets from Orpheus by Rainer Maria Rilke, in the original German. There is a theme of tangible loss moving through the piece, from childhood to adolescence, and then full-blown youth. The middle movement is scored for soprano and solo viola. 18 minutes Three Songs To Children Soprano/tenor & piano 9780193451681 One of Berkeley’s earliest published compositions, Three Songs to Children sets texts by W B Yeats, Wilfred Owen, and Walter de la Mare. The direct simplicity of Yeats and Owen settings contrast with a central, more ambitious setting of a poem by Wilfred Owen. 10 minutes Wessex Graves Version for mezzo-soprano and piano 9780193359574 Version for tenor & harp 9780193451520 These songs are among Berkeley’s earliest compositions, written in the mid-1970s at the suggestion and encouragement of Peter Pears. The poems, by Thomas Hardy, were chosen for various treatments of one theme - death, and the grave. Some are wistful, some tragic, some humorous. (Originally for tenor and harp). 17 minutes When I hear your voice... Mezzo-soprano solo & ensemble (a.fl., ob.+c.a., cl, bn+c.bn, hn, tpt, tbn, perc, hp, two violins, vla, vc., d.b.) Conductor’s score and parts on hire/rental 9780193363243 This aria for mezzo-soprano solo and ensemble is taken from Berkeley’s opera For You. 10 minutes - Chamber Ensemble - Abstract Mirror String quintet Score 9780193556553 Set of parts 9780193412323 Abstract Mirror is a single movement work for string quintet. The composer writes: ‘After listening to the Schubert Quintet, it occurred to me that one of the many virtues of that score is the way the second cello is absorbed effortlessly into the texture. I became fascinated with the reverse, highlighting the added sonority of the bass texture.’ The title refers not only to the reverse image that a mirror provides but also to the idea of fragmentation, refraction, and distortion. 22 minutes Catch Me If You Can Wind quintet Score and parts on hire/rental 9780193555006 The music follows a Sonatina-like structure with a fastslow-fast pattern. This opening vivo soon develops into multi-textured ideas and considerable friction. By contrast the centre of the work is slow and uncluttered. The last movement is a chase but with some rather nasty and unexpected twists and turns. Includes piccolo and alto flute. 14 minutes Chamber Symphony Ensemble 9780193554863 For nine solo players - flute, oboe, clarinet, horn, piano, violin, viola, cello, and bass. 20 minutes Clarinet Quintet Clarinet, two violins, viola, cello 9780193555082 The music is based on a tune suggested by the melodies and rhythms of sixteenth-century carols and lullabies. The strings are treated as a separate concertante unit. 11 minutes Clarion Call and Gallop Chamber ensemble (cl., bsn, hn, vln, vla, vc., db.) 9780193404014 Berkeley’s Clarion Call is a witty and humorous piece. Drawing on influences as wide as chamber music, rock’n’roll rhythms, and even some of Berkeley’s own choral music, the piece subverts and twists listener’s expectations at every turn through rhythmic invention and unexpected shifts. 7 minutes

Entertaining Master Punch Ensemble (fl., ob., cl., tpt, perc., pno, hp, vln, vc, 5 gongs) Conductor’s score and parts on hire/rental 9780193555150 A chamber work for 9 players, commissioned by Lontano. 12 minutes Fantastic Mind Brass quintet & narrator Conductor’s score and parts on hire/rental 9780193556539 The work amalgamates two passionate poems of longing by the 17th-century libertine poet, The Earl of Rochester. The unusual metre of both poems and the dramatic stances of Rochester suggested to the composer the use of an actor speaking rather than a sung line. Brass instruments are well-suited to the text, given their ability to sound both overbearingly raunchy and exquisitely tender. The brass parts are written in a direct, bald style with many parallel intervals as in music contemporaneous with Rochester himself. 10 minutes For the Savage Messiah Ensemble (Vln, vla, vc., db., pno) Conductor’s score and parts on hire/rental 9780193555044 ‘The music begins with a large boulder of sound on the piano that triggers off a scrambling burst of notes on the other instruments, with whom it is frequently in conflict. As the composition developed I became more and more conscious of a very physical relationship with the music. I reread H.S. Edes Savage Messiah - a remarkable portrait of Henri Gaudier-Brzeska, the French sculptor who died in the trenches in 1915 at the age of 24. Gaudier was a fabulous draughtsman, but coupled to his delicate lines there seems to me a boulder-like massiveness born of frenetic energy. But it is perhaps most of all the awful inevitability of his life and the appalling waste at its ending that are echoed in the music.’ - Michael Berkeley 12 minutes Magnetic Field String quartet Conductor’s score and parts on hire/rental 9780193556515 The starting point for Magnetic Field was the string music of Purcell and in particular the Fantasia upon one note. Here the composer uses a single note as a kind of magnetic force around which everything else revolves. 20 minutes Mini-Drama Piano quintet 9780193556560 Mini-Drama was commissioned for Chamber Music 2000. Chamber Music 2000 works were designed to be technically easy, but still retain the composer’s own individuality and musical style. 2 minutes Music from Chaucer Brass quintet 9780193555020 A work in five movements, each characterizing a poem by Chaucer. ‘Triton’s Trumpets’, acts as an overture to the suite of pieces, is mainly rather rustic. Next is a haunting slow waltz, then a very short and very vigorous fanfare. In the fourth movement, ‘The Sorrowful Knight’, each instrument expresses its individual sorrow. Finally Chaucer himself chatters in a jaunty, innocent style. 12 minutes Musical Chairs Ensemble (picc., fl., ob., cl., hn, pno, vln, vla, vc.) Conductor’s score and parts on hire/rental 9780193376489 Written for Amelia Freedman’s birthday concert at the Wigmore Hall, November 2010. Performed by the Nash Ensemble. 3 minutes Nocturne Flute, harp, violin, viola, & cello Conductor’s score and parts on hire/rental 9780193554771 This little nocturne belongs to a group of early pieces written at the beginning of the eighties. The essence of the piece owes more to the sensations of Mediterranean nights than those closer to home. A dreamy mood pervades with only the occasional click of the cicada, a brief moment of passion and a final awakening snap interrupting an otherwise languorous evening. 12 minutes Oboe Quintet ‘Into the ravine’ Oboe, two violins, viola, & cello 9780193390768 While writing this quintet Berkeley had in mind the paintings of John Craxton and Mark Rothko, and the way in which paint can vibrate as colours collide. The piece opens with the oboe intoning three notes, and at pivotal moments in the music this lachrymose motif imposes itself, though in varied permutations. 18 minutes Piano Quintet Piano, two violins, viola, & cello 9780193364554 Inspired by Rothko canvases, this study starts by revolving around a high D, acting as a line of centrifugal force from which microtones pull away. Gradually little interruptions and playful ripples begin to disturb the sustained notes until they grow into a frenetic rondo and end by building to a climax dominated by a similar high note. Various musical ideas are utilized throughout, effectively emulating the textures and gradations of colour employed within a painting. 15 minutes