Two Games and a Nocturne


chamber ensemble of 6 players
Mixed Chamber Ensemble
fl(=picc).cl.perc(1): mar/glsp/2 wdbl/optional crot - pno.vln.vlc
Commissioned by Psappha with the support of the Ernst von Siemens Music Foundation and the Britten-Pears Foundation
First Performance
16.2.2017, Hallé St Michael's, Ancoats, Manchester, UK: Psappha

Score and parts in preparation

Programme Notes

Game I – Fidgety, skittish
Game II – Meccanico ma accelerando
Nocturne – Drifting, malleable

The first two movements (the ‘games’) have a sense of play – the first game alternates skittish piano solos with moments of absolute stasis, before the whole ensemble joins in a bluesy, insectoid jamboree. In the second game, an initially ominous trudge in marimba and piano is incrementally disrupted and sped up to become a fast and volatile rush to the finish.
The nocturne that ends the piece is the more sombre older cousin of these games – here insistent, chiming octaves in the glockenspiel and piano are surrounded by gently swaying chords and astringent contributions from piccolo and violin, as the music drifts towards its conclusion.

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Nicholas Maw



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