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Richard Rodney Bennett

Publisher: Novello & Co

Sonata after Syrinx (1985)
commissioned by the Nash Ensemble
Novello & Co Ltd
Works for 2-6 Players
Year Composed
13 Minutes

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Programme Note
Richard Rodney Bennett Sonata after Syrinx (1985)
This piece was written for the Nash Ensemble, for their concert to mark the composer's 50th birthday, given at Wigmore Hall, London, in May 1986. It was composed during August 1985 in New York City, and is dedicated to Amelia Freedman. The composer writes:

Five recent works of mine have been based on Debussy's Syrinx (1912) for solo flute, and this is the third of the group. Debussy used the combination of flute, viola and harp if one of his late sonatas, and I have always wanted to write a work for these instruments.

My Sonata is in seven sections: Molto moderato, Presto (Scherzo 1), alla habanera, Cadenza (for viola and harp), Vivo (Scherzo 2), Poco adagio (solo harp), adagio.
The work lasts about 13 minutes..

© Richard Rodney Bennett

  • Ensemble
    CHROMA Ensemble
[The Sonata after Syrinx] shows a fluid grasp of form and a wonderful ear for instrumentation, together with a feel for lush and densely layered harmonies that both challenge and reassure the ear.
Guy Dammann, The Guardian,3/28/2011
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