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Craig Armstrong

Publisher: Chester Music

Chester Music Ltd
Sub Category
Large Orchestra
Programme Note
Digital perusal score available from ScoresOnDemand
When commissioned by the Barbican to compose a short work to be premiered by the London Sinfonietta as part of the elektronic festival, Armstrong decided he wanted to write a meditative piece for strings, suitable to end the second half of a concert. After re-viewing Visconti's film Death in Venice, in particular the static opening scene of the lagoon, he decided to base his new piece around the opening bars of the Adagietto from Mahler's Fifth Symphony (as used in the film's soundtrack).

'In a sense, this piece belongs to the time-honoured tradition of reworking,rearranging or 'taking as a starting point' a piece written by a composer from another generation, and in that sense this is really a set of variations. However, one of the main structural characteristics in Visconti involves an electronic development that leads to a gentle, blurred tonality. At this point, the orchestra, in contrast, becomes more tonal, eventually restating the opening bars, recently worked with Baz Luhrmann on Moulin Rouge. I hope this piece can be viewed as a homage to Gustav Mahler and Luchino Visconti.

  • 26 JUN 2008
    Memory Takes My Hand European Premiere
    One Minute Country Premiere
    Visconti Country Premiere
    Immer Country Premiere
    Festival de Saint-Denis
    Basilica Cathedral of Saint-Denis, Paris
    Orchestre National d'Ile-de-France; Choeur Sequenza 9.3
    Ann de Renias, soprano; Clio Gould violin; Craig Armstrong Piano; Garry Walker, conductor
  • 03 OCT 2003
    Eden Court, Inverness
    Scottish Ensemble

    Other Dates:
    4,5 October - Queen's Hall, Edinburgh
    6 October - Aberdeen
    7 October - Marryat Hall, Dundee
    8 October - St John's Kirk, Perth
    9 October - Glasgow Royal Concert Hall

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