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Helen Grime

Publisher: Chester Music

A Cold Spring (2009)
Commissioned by Aldeburgh Music with funds provided by the Sue Knussen Composers Fund and the following individuals through Birmingham Contemporary Music Group’s Sound Investment scheme:
Work Notes
Commissioned by Aldeburgh Music with funds from BCMG and Sue Knussen Trust for the BCMG conducted by Oliver Knussen.
Chester Music Ltd
Large Ensemble (7 or more players)
Year Composed
10 Minutes

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Programme Note
Helen Grime A Cold Spring (2009)
A Cold Spring falls into three movements although these are played almost without a break. The first movement is fast-moving and features an exuberant duet for two clarinets. The second is a mini concerto for solo horn accompanied by the ensemble. More nocturnal in character, a repetitive rocking rhythm lends it a feel of a lullaby. The third movement opens with an energetic outburst for the whole group. Solos and duets are juxtaposed with the combined ensemble to create an impression of stark contrast.

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  • Ensemble
    Hallé Orchestra and Hallé Soloists
    Lynsey Marsh
    Sir Mark Elder and Jamie Phillips
  • 14 APR 2018
    A Cold Spring Country Premiere
    Annex theatre, Vancouver
    Vancouver Symphony Orchestra
    William Rowson, conductor
  • 20 SEP 2017
    Milton Court Concert Hall, Barbican, London
    Britten Sinfonia
    Jacqueline Shave, violin/director
  • 05 MAR 2017
    CBSO Centre, Birmingham
    Birmingham Contemporary Music Group
    Huw Watkins, piano; Oliver Knussen, conductor
  • 03 MAR 2017
    Wigmore Hall, London
    Birmingham Contemporary Music Group
    Huw Watkins, piano; Oliver Knussen, conductor
  • 08 DEC 2016
    Queens Hall, Edinburgh
    Scottish Chamber Orchestra
    Duncan Ward, conductor

    Other Dates:
    9 December - City Halls, Glasgow
  • 26 MAR 2016
    A Cold Spring US Premiere
    New World Center, Miami, FL
    New World Symphony
    Stefan Asbury, conductor
  • 02 SEP 2015
    Radio 3 Afternoon on 3
    Radio 3
  • 29 AUG 2015
    BBC Proms 2015
    Royal Albert Hall, London
    London Sinfonietta
    Thierry Fischer, conductor
  • 20 APR 2012
    City Halls Glasgow, SCOTLAND
    Scottish Chamber Orchestra
    Oliver Knussen, conductor

    Other Dates:
    21 April - Queen’s Hall Edinburgh, SCOTLAND
  • 28 APR 2011
    A Cold Spring Country Premiere
    Asko Schoenberg Ensemble
    Oliver Knussen, conductor
  • 20 JUN 2009
    A Cold Spring World Premiere
    Snape Maltings Concert Hall, Aldeburgh, UK
    Birmingham Contemporary Music Group
    Oliver Knussen, conductor

A Cold Spring evokes primordial creatures bellowing from the murk, with characterful solos for the lower wind instruments.
Richard Morrison, The Times (London),22/09/2017
...the middle movement is described by Grime as a mini concerto for the solo horn, and BCMG horn player Mark Phillips evidently enjoyed it. But the concertante element was there too in an exuberant duet for the clarinets in the first part, and the flying sequence of juxtaposed solos and duets in the last part. It felt like a condensed concerto for orchestra, or rather a sort of ‘Concertino for Chamber Group’