chamber ensemble of 5 players
Mixed Chamber Ensemble
fl(=2 crot).cl(=xyl/tgl) - perc(1): 2 wdbl/5 crot/handbell/2 susp.cym/3 gong/tam-t/2 congas/rototom - pno(=crot/claves/SD) - vlc(=handbell)
First Performance
1.6.1980, St John's Smith Square, London, UK: Gemini

A4 score (fp) 0-571-55555-1 on sale, parts on hire

Programme Notes

Concelebration is a ritualistic work in which the four melodic instruments go their own ways and yet from time to time meet and ‘dance’ together. A starting point was Bishop John of Winchester’s fine book on the Holy Spirit – The Go-Between God. The work is dedicated to him. Each instrument plays a set of duration cycles. The flute has 7 cycles, the clarinet 5, the piano 3 and the cello 2, so they never coincide except at the beginning and end of the piece – ‘going their own ways’. Each cycle is marked at the beginning by a bell sound, and at each subdivision by a woodblock or temple block sound, one stroke for the first subdivision, two for the second, three for the third and so on until the cycle is finished and the same happens all over again. The 7 flute cycles happen fastest, the 2 cello ones slowest. Within these cycles, the subdivisions have always the following order of characteristics: (1) silent (or percussion sounds), (2) gentle and static, (3) energetic and mobile. So there is a constant flux from ‘meditation’ to ‘being’ to ‘becoming’, and one instrument may be playing one type whilst another is playing a different, opposed one; but sometimes they agree, and then there is a celebration. Jonathan Harvey

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