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Thea Musgrave

Publisher: Novello & Co

Night Windows (2007)
Commissioned by the International Double Reed Society
Novello & Co Ltd
Works for 2-6 Players
Year Composed
13 Minutes
Alternate Orchestration
Oboe; str
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Programme Note
Thea Musgrave Night Windows (2007)
Guy Porat - Oboe and Franca Bertoli Cividino - Piano
Walking down a darkened street it’s hard to resist looking in through lighted windows and catching a glimpse of other people’s lives. The imagination lingers…

Night Windows is the title of a painting by Edward Hopper of a scene in one such lighted window. However the scenes in this work – though reflecting something of all the loneliness in so many of the Hopper paintings – are all imaginary: highly charged emotional moments.

Loneliness: Anger: Nostalgia: Despair: Frenzy.

The work was commissioned by the International Double Reed Society and it is dedicated to Nicholas Daniel.

Programme note © 2007 Thea Musgrave

Score sample

  • Soloist(s)
    Nicholas Daniel, The Chilingirian Quartet, Joy Farrall, Emer McDonough, James Turnbull, Huw Watkins
    Harmonia Mundi:
With its sure-footed gestural pacing, Thea Musgrave's elegantly taut music is thoroughly absorbing ... Each of its five movements captures a mood and ... it's all captured in natural sound.
Andrew McGregor, BBC Music Magazine,29/07/2013
...hauntingly beautiful...
John Rushby-Smith, Hereford Times,14/03/2011
Having lived in the United States for many years now, it is the American artist Edward Hopper that has provided Musgrave with the inspiration for [Night Windows], although the five movements, entitled Loneliness, Anger, Nostalgia, Despair and Frenzy are the outcome of the composer’s own personal response to the lonely atmosphere inherent in many of Hopper’s paintings rather than an attempt at specific programmatic musical imagery. Either way, the impact in Birmingham Town Hall was electrifying, both emotionally and musically as Nicholas Daniel gave a powerfully wrought and charged account of Musgrave’s intense and at times deeply personal music.
Christopher Thomas, Musicweb International,23/07/2009
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