Instrumentation

1(=afl+picc).1(=ca).1(=bcl).1(=cbsn) - 1110 - perc(1): BD(with foot ped)/hi-hat/4 tom-t/3 tam-t - pno - 2 vln.vla.vlc.db

Availability

Score (fp) 0-571-55572-1 on sale, parts for hire

Programme Notes

Contraflow might be compared to a journey in which the return half is seen in a different perspective. Formally the work consists of a scherzo and trio, where the expected reprise turns into a slow movement in which the scherzo is recapitulated in reverse, with seemingly little resemblance to the original. Within this overall framework there is another process at work – a sequence of tiny concertinos for each member of the ensemble, beginning halfway through the scherzo with second violin, trombone and oboe; then flute, trumpet and viola; in the trio, clarinet, horn and cello; and in the slow movement, contrabassoon, percussion and bass, with finally a duo for first violin and piano.

Contraflow lasts around 12 minutes: it was commissioned by the Huddersfield Festival and the London Sinfonietta with funds made available by the Arts Council of Great Britain, and is dedicated to ‘my friends in the London Sinfonietta, especially Rosemary, and to Diego Masson.’

Colin Matthews

Reviews

‘12 tightly packed minutes in this composer’s exhilarating new vein of hard-edged discourse… The personality of the Sinfonietta - both in its individual talents and their corporate combination - seems to have directly impinged on the bracing yet engaging character of the argument, not to mention the beautifully achieved climactic slowing towards reconciliation and repose.’
Financial Times (Max Loppert), 4 December 1992
 
'Contraflow plays with lighter textures and a mirror-Iike structure, which is cleverly worked.'
The Financial Times (Richard Fairman), 17 November 2017

Contraflow

BBC Radio 3 (United Kingdom)

London Sinfonietta, Martyn Brabbins

Contraflow

St John's Smith Square (London, United Kingdom)

London Sinfonietta, Martyn Brabbins

Contraflow

St Paul's Hall, University of Huddersfield (Huddersfield, West Yorkshire, United Kingdom)

London Sinfonietta, Martyn Brabbins

Contraflow

BBC Radio 3 (United Kingdom)

London Sinfonietta, Martyn Brabbins

Contraflow

Royal Northern College of Music Concert Hall (Manchester, United Kingdom)

Royal Northern College of Music, Mark Heron