Piano Concerto No 2 ("Boschpoort") (2013)

for piano and 7 instruments (flute/piccolo), bass clarinet/clarinet in Bb, trumpet in C, bass trombone, violin, viola, cello)

  1. Allegro (crotchet = 96) (c. 14'00")
  2. (dotted crotchet = 42) (c. 9'10")
To the memory of Sally Rose
Commissioned by MIAGI (Music is a Great Investment)
Parts on hire
Duration: c. 23'10"

Première

First performance: Wednesday 1 October 2014; Austria; Ensemble Reconsil, Roland Freisitzer conductorperformance details.

Programme note

The starting points for this work were twofold: a commission for Ensemble Reconsil which specified the instrumentation, and a longstanding opportunity to collaborate with the South African conceptual artist Willem Boshoff, composing music to complement the images collected on his Druid walks. He suggested images from several of his walks at Boschpoort, the quarry which has yielded the granite for his large-scale sculptures.

The first movement was composed during a joint residency with Willem Boshoff at the Nirox Foundation outside Johannesburg in October 2012. Most of the second movement was written during the summer of 2013 at the home of Christopher Smith and Fiona Campbell in Balledent in the French Limousin.

My Piano Concerto No 2 is scored for piano and two instrumental groups: flute, trumpet, trombone, viola + bass clarinet, violin, cello. In the first movement the piano has more of a concertante than a soloistic role, while in the second it engages with the ensemble in a simple elegiac exchange, ending with bowed piano strings spelling out the musical letters S-A-H-D-A-E.

It was commissioned by MIAGI (Music is a Great Investment) for Ensemble Reconsil, and is dedicated to the memory of Sally Rose, for whom several of my piano works were written in the 1990s, and who died at the age of 49 in February 2012.