7 months ago

Michael Berkeley 2018 All works

Severn Crossing Chamber

Severn Crossing Chamber orchestra (2 fl .(II+picc.), 2 ob. (II+c.a.), 2 cl. (II+b. cl.), 2 bn (II+cbn), 2 hn, 2 tpt, timp., strings Conductor’s score and parts on hire/rental 9780193620575 ‘Looking out across the Severn Estuary, I have often been struck by the beautiful but lonely seascape that stretches out to the Bristol Channel. It very much suggested the wistful melody on the flute which opens Severn Crossing and on which the whole piece is based. Gradually the sounds of construction are heard. As the crossing nears completion, so the cross rhythms become more pronounced and a familiar Welsh melody is glimpsed amidst the swirling textures.’ - Michael Berkeley. 7 minutes Uprising Chamber orchestra (2 fl. (I+picc., II+picc.&a.fl.), 2 ob., 2 cl.(, 2 bn, 2 hn, 2 tpt, timp, strings) Conductor’s score and parts on hire/rental 9780193620391 First performed 18 December 1980, Queen’s Hall Edinburgh by the Scottish Chamber Orchestra conducted by Roderick Brydon 21 minutes - Orchestra with solo - Concerto for Cello Solo cello & chamber orchestra (fl. (+picc.), 2 ob., 2 bn, 2 hn, strings) Conductor’s score and parts on hire/rental 9780193620452 This single-movement chamber concerto is deliberately scored for the forces of the Boccherini and Haydn concerti. Light-hearted in spirit, it could easily be described as a divertissement. 12 minutes Concerto for Clarinet Solo clarinet & chamber orchestra (2 fl. (II+picc.), 2 ob (II+c.a.), 2 cl. (, 2 bn (II+cbn), 2 hn, 2 tpt, timp, strings) Conductor’s score and parts on hire/rental 9780193620223 Solo clarinet part (with piano accompaniment) available from Allegro Music This work was written whilst Berkeley was writing his opera, Baa Baa Black Sheep which is based on Kipling’s autobiographical short story of the same name. Although Kipling’s childhood predicament is the starting point for the relationship between the clarinet and orchestra, the music develops from there into an abstract essay. The clarinet frequently merges with the woodwind section while at other times stands out against it. The Concerto for Clarinet is a musical argument; there is no percussion, but the role of the timpani is crucial. The Clarinet Concerto was commissioned by Emma Johnson and takes the form of one continuous movement. Concerto for Horn Solo horn & string orchestra Conductor’s score and parts on hire/rental 9780193620247 There are two movements which are closely related but while the overall mood of the first is aggressive the second is more resigned and poignant. Various musical ideas heard only in fragments in the opening movement come more sharply into focus in the second. Through a smoky haze of sound the lachrymose notes of the last post are superimposed on a Bach Chorale from the St Matthew Passion. First performed in 1984 at the Cheltenham Festival by Michael Thompson and the Polish Chamber Orchestra, Concerto for Horn was revised in 1994. 16 minutes Concerto for Oboe Solo oboe & string orchestra Conductor’s score and parts on hire/rental 9780193620292 Solo oboe part (with piano accompaniment) available from Allegro Music The work begins quietly, the oboe entering without orchestral preamble. The five-note theme introduced by the soloist permeates the entire movement as the music becomes steadily more animated and interplay between soloist and orchestra more intense. The central movement is a playful scherzo, with a lyrical middle section. The final movement, Elegy, is dedicated to the memory of the composers godfather, Benjamin Britten. It is based on an augmented fourth - the interval central to Britten’s War Requiem. The concerto ends with the oboe intoning the notes Britten used to depict Wilfred Owen’s line, ‘let us sleep now’, whereupon the music gradually comes to rest. Michael Berkeley’s Oboe Concerto was commissioned by the Burnham Market Festival in Norfolk and was first performed in 1977 by Janet Craxton with the Snape Maltings Training Orchestra. 25 minutes Concerto for Organ Solo organ & full orchestra (2 fl., 2 ob., 2 cl., 2 bn, 4 hn, 3 tpt, 3 tbn, tba, timp., 2 perc. (t.bell, sus.cym., vib., BD, SD, TD, tam), hp, strings) Conductor’s score and parts on hire/rental 9780193555112 This work is seen as marking a turning point in the composer’s music. The writing includes distinctive harmonic clusters breaking into great upward sweeps, buzzing (often menacing) mobiles under carefully controlled melodic lines, inventive timbres, and above all, a heightened sense of drama. 18 minutes 20 minutes

Concerto for Viola Solo viola & full orchestra (2 fl. (I+picc.), 2 ob. (I+c.a.), 2 cl. (, 2 bn (I+cbn), 3 tpt (all+flugel, I+tpt in D), 4 hn, 3 tbn, tba, timp, 4 perc. (t.bell, vib, tam (med), sz cym, w.blk, BD, c.bell, sus. cym, crash cym, tom (low, med, high), SD) hp, strings) Conductor’s score and parts on hire/rental 9780193620193 The concerto is cast in a single movement. The first two thirds of the music is built over a slow pulse. Throughout the music the soloist weaves in and out of the orchestral texture, sometimes riding the growing waves of sound and sometimes being overtaken by it. In the last third of the concerto the music breaks into a much faster tempo and the viola is pushed to the bottom of its compass where it feverishly races around like a trapped insect, constantly striving to rise above its orchestral surroundings. 15 minutes Double Guitar Concerto Two solo guitars & chamber orchestra (fl. (+picc.&a.fl.), ob. (+c.a.), cl. (, bn, hn, tpt, tbn, perc. (SD, roto-tom, mark tree, glock, vib, w blk, guiro, BD), hp, cel., strings) Conductor’s score and parts on hire/rental 9780193616745 The work is in three contrasting but related movements with the guitars having a role rather akin to a harpsichord in a concerto grosso, but informed by a contemporary sensibility. Inspired by the intuitive playing of the Katona twins, the soloists are used not so much as contrasting or antiphonal voices but rather as one double instrument. 20 minutes For Mrs Tomoyasu from ‘Or Shall We Die?’ Soprano & chamber ensemble (fl., ob., cl., bn, hn, tpt, hp, string quintet) /orchestra (fl., 2 ob., 2 bn, 2 hn, strings) Conductor’s score and parts on hire/rental - chamber ensemble version 9780193354050 Conductor’s score and parts on hire/rental - chamber orchestra version 9780193354036 This aria for soprano and orchestra is taken from the oratorio Or Shall We Die?. Mrs Tomoyasu was a young woman in 1945 when her nine year-old daughter died in her arms at Hiroshima. Her words, taken almost verbatim by the librettist Ian McEwan, describe her terrible experience on the day that the atomic bomb was dropped. 6 minutes Songs of Awakening Love Soprano & chamber orchestra (fl. (+picc.), 2 ob. (+c.a.), 2 bn, 2 hn, strings) Conductor’s score and parts on hire/rental 9780193554757 This work is a setting of three poems; two sonnets, by Elizabeth Barrett Browning, framing a scherzo-like song of elation by Christina Rossetti. The poems superficially seem straight-laced and high-minded, but, in reality, smoulder with intense expression. 26 minutes Touch Light Solo soprano, solo counter-tenor & string orchestra/Solo flute, solo violin, & strings Conductor’s score and parts on hire/rental - voices and strings version Conductor’s score and parts on hire/rental - Instrumental version 9780193352858 9780193357167 Berkeley describes this work as a ‘homage’ to the masters of early opera: Monteverdi, Handel, and Purcell. In his exquisite piece he distils the essence of some of their most ecstatic moments into his own words and employs a variation on the ground bass which lies at the heart of some of his favourite arias and duets. In the instrumental version, the soprano and counter-tenor solo lines from the original version are re-worked for flute and violin. 8 minutes Violin Concerto Solo violin/electric violin & full orchestra (picc., 2 fl., 2 ob., cor ang., 2 cl., bcl, 2 bn, cbn, 4 hn, 3 tpt, 3 tbn, tba, timp, tabla, tuned perc, untuned perc, celeste, 2 hp, strings, tuned perc: xyl, vib, glock, t bells, crotales, untuned perc: tom-toms, bongos, BD, SD, tam-tam, claves, referee’s whistle, whistle, sus. cym.) Violin part 9780193517905 Conductor’s score and parts on hire/rental 9780193406070 ‘In 2014 I wrote At A Solemn Wake, which was commissioned by the Ryedale Festival in memory of my wife, the literary agent, Deborah Rogers, who had died very suddenly earlier that year. As I began work on this Concerto I found that that cello piece was constantly invading my thoughts and in particular a melodic idea that just would not go away. Another influence was hearing Nigel Kennedy play a quite extraordinary electric violin tribute to Jimi Hendrix at Ronnie Scott’s. The volatility of this amplified sound seemed to me to echo the elements of rage that are so often a part of the grieving process. Listening to the amazing timbres Nigel was getting from this instrument, it occurred to me that it would be a vibrant colour to have on the sound palette I was starting to mix for the concerto. The third contribution to my emerging soundworld came from working with Nitin Sawhney and Akram Khan on programmes for the Radio 3 series, Private Passions, and then watching Akram’s sculptures in movement with his dance company. Both Akram and Nitin talked about their love and use of the Tabla which, as it happens, Deborah and I had relished in India on one of our last trips together. Somehow these disparate elements coalesced in my mind to form a twenty-minute continuous score which began to write itself.’ - Michael Berkeley Violin Concerto was premiered by Chloë Hanslip and BBC National Orchestra of Wales at the 2016 BBC Proms at the Royal Albert Hall, London. 20 minutes