NEW MUSIC: Composers of the 21st Century

25 March 2000   Composers of the 21st Century
Music by the winners of the Young Composers Project

The works from the Young Composers Project were all written at the beginning of the Millennium.

Philip Bricher: Trinity Waltz

“This was originally a piano composition, but 1 had had the intention to orchestrate it for the A-Level course. It is named after my school, Trinity Upper, where it was composed. The piece is in ternary form, but with an 8-bar bridge between section ‘B’ and the recapitulation of Theme ‘A’. Section ‘B’ has a similar melodic shape to that of ‘A’, but in its relative major (i.e. C). In the recapitulation of theme ‘A’, the same chord scheme as in the first time is employed, but with ‘decorations’ based on the original tune (which are played on the flute while the first violin plays fragments of the established theme underneath.”

Sarah Stephens: The Murderous Magician

“This piece was inspired by Karl Jenkins’ Palladio for Strings and Adiemus. Originally composed for piano, this arrangement for strings retains the piano part, which is fundamental to the ambience and adds richness to the texture. The work begins in C minor, creating an atmosphere of mystery and tension building towards the vivacemelody in the second section. The cellos then imitate the melody at a slower tempo in preparation for the excitement of the accelerando which leads to the repeat of the opening. The section which follows begins tranquilly in comparison with the rest of the piece but then very gradually builds up, heightening the suspense which leads to the dramatic conclusion.”

Stewart Hilt: Emerald Strings

“This is taken from my A-level portfolio. It is probably the longest of the three pieces I have written (a jazz piano collection and songs from ‘The Tempest’). This was also the first piece I wrote for A-level. I suppose this idea comes from all the Irish ‘hype’ that has been apparent over the last few years. Bands like The Corrs, B*Witched, Boyzone, and Westlife are all Irish Bands and mostly all still have Irish influence in them. Also ‘Riverdance’ is another one of the main influxes of Irish music in England. All these factors gave me the idea to write in the Irish style. I tried to mix the old folk, modal style with more modern features. For a start, i used the sonata form to represent the Classical Period. The post-classical features in the piece are the chromatic passages (ie from bar 77 onward in the development section) representing the modern and 20th century influences.”

Fiona Chamberlain: Amber

“This piece of music was composed using the dodecaphonic system. My original note row is C-G-D-F-A-Bb-Eb-G#-C#-F#-B-E. A lump of amber inspired the three-section form of the piece – hence its title! The trills in the piano part are started slowly and quietly and build up speed and volume over the middle of the bar to tail off again in volume and speed until only the starting note is sounding. The flute and violin trills are played evenly.”

Lucy Phillips: Anne

“I wanted to compose a string quartet which gave all four instruments some importance. During the piece each instrument has its share of the tune, so it can be seen in the limelight. Most of the piece is centered around a short motif in 5/4 which I have developed in different ways. I tried to make use of chromaticism and more unusual harmonies. The middle section in 6/8 is very tranquil – I used the notes of a pentatonic scale and wanted to create the effect of a Chinese garden. The melody is passed around the instruments almost seamlessly. The quartet is dedicated to my violin teacher Anne.”


1 Comment

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One response to “NEW MUSIC: Composers of the 21st Century

  1. Willard Welsford

    This was fun! On my 3rd time round now with Ives-unanswered question – Thanks for having me Helix – 19 years ago!

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