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<<  -- 2 --  Patric Standford    TRANSPARENTLY COLOURFUL


Their composition spread over five years between 1986 and 1991, and the first volume on CD includes three of the earliest and two of the last. They are Preludes to external images, each exploring a differently coloured aspect of the chamber orchestra. No 2 To a Dolphin, with bold extrovert colours, horns, trumpet and a dancing violin in a quiet opening [listen -- track 5, 0:00-0:55] that grows through moody changes into its animation. No 3 To a Maple Tree winds its delicate contrapuntal textures through nervous woodwinds into the strings over which a trumpet imposes a wandering line [listen -- track 4, 5:39-6:30].

No 5 To a Living Stone has a quiet, strong and persistent driving force throughout and No 8 To the Victoria Embankment (how much of our London lives we Guildhall students spent along it!) has a vitality curiously reminiscent of the east European folk music to which Holmboe was so much attracted, a busy nervous quality punctuated with strong rhythms [listen -- track 3, 0:00-0:57]. No 10, the last of the set is the first on this CD and is inscribed To the Unsettled Weather, repeated falling phrases in a tranquility broken only briefly by turbulence [listen -- track 1, 6:31-7:29].

Vagn Holmboe - Preludes for Sinfonietta Volume 1 (c) 2000 dacapo records

In the vivid crystalline sound world of these Preludes it is an atmosphere rather than distinct melody that lingers in the memory. It is chamber music for orchestra, beautifully made. I find it quite close to that of my mentor, Edmund Rubbra.

Copyright © 4 March 2001 Patric Standford, Wakefield, West Yorkshire, UK







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