Ringing Isle, The (chamber orchestra)


by Jonathan Dove

Fanfare for chamber orchestra
Small Orchestra
2(=picc).2.2.2 - 2200 - perc(2): timp/BD/tam-t/t.bells /glsp - strings
Commissioned by British Telecommunications PLC for the 1997/98 BT Celebration Series in honour of the 50th Anniversary of the Association of British Orchestras
First Performance
20.2.98, Ulster Hall, Belfast: Ulster Orchestra/Yuri Simonov

Score and parts for hire

Programme Notes

Jonathan Dove The Ringing Isle Handel called Britain ‘the ringing isle’ because when he came to live here, he heard bells ringing everywhere: great bells in towers, and handbells in some of the first houses he visited. The sound of people ringing the changes is a peculiarly British sound of celebration, and it is the sound of communal music-making, so it seemed a good starting point for a piece celebrating British musical life. The Ringing Isle also conjures up an image of some magical island, and although I have borrowed some change-ringing phrases (from ‘Grandsire Doubles’, ‘Oxford Treble Bob Minor’ and one suggested by ‘Plain Bob Major’), I was also musically wondering what it might feel like, perhaps on an ocean voyage, to discover such an island. The Ringing Isle was commissioned by British Telecommunications plc for the 1997-98 BT Celebration Series in honour of the 50th Anniversary of the Association of British Orchestras. I have written two versions of the piece, one for chamber orchestra and one for symphony orchestra, so that it can be played by all the orchestras taking part in the series. An exciting and unusual challenge! And it’s a very lucky composer who gets the chance to hear his piece played by so many distinguished musicians. © Jonathan Dove 1997

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