chamber ensemble of 8 players
Mixed Chamber Ensemble
fl(=picc).cl - perc(1): xylrim/glsp/crot/2 susp.cym/tgl/2 tpl.bl - cel - vln.vla.vlc.db

Written at the request of Francis Routh for the Redcliffe Concerts of British Music

First Performance
24.2.1979, Purcell Room, London, UK: Redcliffe Ensemble/Edwin Roxburgh

Score 0-571-50808-1 on sale, parts for hire

Programme Notes

This piece received its première at my London debut in February 1979 under the auspices of the Redcliffe Concerts of British Music. Sketching was begun only months after the conclusion of my studies with Olivier Messiaen: the Octet was very much my first attempt to integrate all that I had learnt in Paris on an instrumental canvas. The whole work (scored for flute, clarinet, percussion, celesta and four strings) has a general scherzando character, occasionally punctured by moments of lyricism or strident dynamism.

© George Benjamin

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News & Reviews

'Octet' review

‘…the sheer technical aplomb of the work continues to amaze. Benjamin wrote it when he was eighteen; the beautifully dappled structure and wonderfully imagined effects seem to evidence a far deeper maturity.’ Financial Times (Andrew Clements), 24 February 1987 Read more

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