On 6 December Lisa Illean’s février received its first Australian performance at the Brisbane Music Festival. The 2019 trio for clarinet, cello, and piano was performed by Dario Scalabrini, Katherine Philp, and Alex Raineri.
février is a “a winter piece, introspective” – a 13-minute work from which Illean tried to remove obvious signs of musical expression when composing it, pinpointing the characteristics of the sounds themselves. As with her 2022 chamber work ever-weaver for cello and piano, Illean calls on subtle and unusual tunings in the piece from both clarinet and cello: “to my imagination these are like cracks of muted light between the suspended piano chords.”
février was premiered by Trio Catch at Festival Présences; it has also received performances from Explore Ensemble, who gave the UK premiere of the work, and Meitar Ensemble, who gave the Israeli premiere of the work in 2021. It was recently performed by BCMG Next in April 2023 at the CBSO Centre, alongside Illean’s Januaries from Kazuki Yamada and BCMG.
Looking ahead, 2024 will see the UK premiere of arcing, stilling, bending, gathering from Britten Sinfonia on 11 May 2024, a 19-minute piece is scored for piano, strings, and pre-recorded sounds and, on 1 February the world premiere of an acre ringing, still from Ryan Wigglesworth and the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra in Glasgow. The 20-minute work for orchestra and pre-recorded sounds is cast in three parts and makes use of a consort of solo woodwinds and brass, strings, and electric guitar, which perform with non-tempered tunings and placed at the rear of the orchestra.