Postcards

(2012-13)

by Martin Suckling

Description
string ensemble
Duration
17
Genres
String Ensemble
Commission

Commissioned by the Scottish Ensemble with support from the PRS for Music Foundation

First Performance
Complete version first performed 21.10.13, Music Hall, Aberdeen, Scotland, UK: Scottish Ensemble
Availability

Score and parts for hire

Programme Notes
Originally described as ‘postcards’, these pieces were written for the Scottish Ensemble’s 2012-13 season, with one included in each of their UK tours. Although the musical idea underlying each piece might fit on the back of a postcard, the result is a little more substantial than such a title suggests –hence ‘short story’. They can be performed individually or as a complete set. I – Chimes at Midnight A series of bells. From within the resonance,echoes of a dance emerge, and a high violin sings. II – Mr Jonathan Morton, His Ground Where the violin leads, the others follow, eventually arriving at rich, gleaming microtonal chords covering all registers. Throughout the whole piece a simple melodic phrase loops over and again. III – Touch A toccata of scurrying semiquavers in which the players join, separate, and recombine in ever-changing groupings to create a many-voiced polyphony. The journey repeats – though with each iteration it is squeezed into smaller and smaller spaces, until eventually it is barely there at all. IV – In Memoriam Stepping out into what seemed to be the first day of Spring: barely a breeze, and the sunlight warm against my face. A sequence of microtonal harmonies gradually transform into singing cello lines backed by fragments of dance and birdsong.

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