What a pleasure to hear my horn trio from four years ago, Orion, given such a bold and committed performance on Monday. The piece is full of counterpoint, which makes for a strong surge of adrenaline when composing and when playing, too, asserting your own part against the impacts and rebounds of the other players’ lines. It was wonderful to hear the clear, impulsive energy of the playing, by three outstanding players in a SCO lunchtime concert at the Perth Concert Hall. Wonderful too to hear Schumann’s fantastic Adagio & Allegro, and Brahms’ Horn Trio played on the natural horn as the composer originally imagined it. Orion will have another outing next February, in Glasgow; I hope I can be there.
I’m looking forward to the first two performances of Orion, a new piece for Horn Trio, written for Alec Frank-Gemmill, Florence Cooke and Daniel Tong. When I wrote the piece, last summer, I became completely drawn into a very intense, driven interplay between the three instruments, each so utterly different in tone and character from the others. This interplay makes the piece hard to put together, but generates a good voltage in the process, I hope. Performances in Ludlow and Derby make a good excuse to visit some wonderful parts of the country, too.
I’m having pieces performed at three concerts in the Cambridge Music Festival this November.
Firstly, John McMunn, Alec Frank-Gemmill and Matthew Schellhorn will give the premiere of my Keats setting Unbidden Visions, for tenor, horn and piano, on Thursday November 12th.
Then Lesley-Jane Rogers will perform The She Wolf in a late-night concert on Thursday 19th.
And finally, the Fitzwilliam String Quartet will perform my String Quartet, written for them and premered last year, on November 24th.
I’m also giving a recital of Faure’s extraordinary late Nocturnes, with poetry from Gerard Manley Hopkins and others, read by Michael Hurley, on Monday 16th at 10pm.