Entries by G D

Programme Notes – Let them Play (2018)

Commissioned by the Household Division Saxophone Quartet this is a short medley of moods with an optimistic slant. The title refers to the final line sung in my opera ‘The Path to Heaven’ on the subject of the Holocaust, and refers to children of the present and future.

Programme Notes – The Path to Heaven (Opera in One Act) 2017-18

A new opera in one act on the subject of the Holocaust with an accompanying ensemble of woodwind, brass and percussion. Article for the World Association of Symphonic Bands and Ensembles (WASBE) magazine During my compositional career research into my Jewish roots has become more important, and many of my works over the years have […]

Programme Notes – Viderunt Omnes

I always imagined if there had been saxophones in the thirteenth century the composer Perotin would have made full advantage of their unique qualities. The title refers to his choral work based on the Gregorian plainchant, and a small part of it can be heard very softly about two thirds of the way through this […]

Programme Notes – Serenad…

For oboe, horn and harpsichord A tribute to Debussy in the year of the centenary of his death The idea of this instrumental combination is strange enough, but for Debussy to be contemplating combining using a harpsichord with an oboe and a horn seems downright bizarre to me. I felt I should go to the […]

Programme Notes – Boat Trip

Written in 2016, I wanted to explore the more lyrical and tranquil sounds of the wind ensemble in this seven-and-a-half-minute work, which is pitched somewhere in between the style of a barcarolle and a Satie Gymnopedie. The more intimate and chamber music qualities of the ensemble should come to the fore, particularly at the start. […]

Programme Notes – Brahms and Red Wine

In memory of my dear friend Stuart Orford. When we were undergraduate students together in the late 1970s Stuart informed me that he was going to host a ‘Brahms and Red Wine’ evening, but as I then didn’t care for Brahms or red wine I wasn’t invited. Since then I’ve tried to repair these failings, […]

Programme Notes – In Solitude, For Company

The title of this 18-minute work is taken from a poem: Lauds which forms a part of Horae Canonicae by W H Auden, a group of poems referring to fixed times for the monastic hours of prayer, but really an extended meditation on the events of Good Friday. Lauds can be read as a description […]

Programme Notes – Velocity

Inspired by the 1994 film ‘Speed’ which has an amazing central sequence where a lorry has to be driven at above 50 mph or it will explode, this piano piece written for the amazing Clare Hammond starts as fast as possible then gathers momentum.

Programme Notes – Spring into Action

This three-movement work celebrates the arrival of spring with all the associated magic and rejuvenation of this special time of year. Its opening movement applauds in sounds the fresh, vibrant stirrings of the season with subtle atmospheres and young, buoyant, vivacious melodies. The second is more reflective with extended solos punctuated by sensitive muted brass […]

Programme Notes – Invocation

This nine-minute work was written for Le Yu and Ben Powell who gave the première at the Rosengart museum in Lucerne Switzerland in 2014. It is written in memory my godfather, one of my great mentors and lifelong friend of my father Micha Battsek who had died earlier that year. Micha had a loud and […]