Publisher: Novello & Co
Stirling Choruses (1999),
commissioned by the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra
Novello & Co Ltd
Works for Band/Wind/Brass Ensemble
Places and landscapes have always been an important stimulus to me when composing. Writing Stirling Choruses was therefore an opportunity for me to combine the place where a work would receive its first performance with the surroundings which inspired it. All my life I have made regular journeys through Stirling, by road or rail, and the Castle, foreboding and dark on its clifftop, has always made me imagine times long past when the Castle and its surroundings not only played a part in Scotland's history but were Scotland's history. The magnificent restoration of the Great Hall reminded me of another aspect of the Castle - its majesty and the vast expansiveness of the landscape it overlooks.
In order to reflect these impressions, and the Castle's turbulent past, the piece has six different types of material - majestic, assertive, scurrying, bold (pulsed), dry and biting, and expressive. These are divided between two ensembles (horns and tuba on one side, trumpets and trombones on the other) and a solo trumpet, and are interwoven and overlaid in many different combinations to create an ever-changing tapestry of choruses. Stirling Choruses is dedicated to Martyn Brabbins.
© Stuart MacRae
BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra/Birmingham Contemporary Music Group
Christian Tetzlaff (violin), Loré Lixenberg (mezzo)
Ilan Volkov/Susanna Mälkki