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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
  • 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

…Certainly the revival of Helen Grime’s A Cold Spring (2009) was well deserved. Written for Birmingham Contemporary Music Group, and inspired by the poetry of Elizabeth Bishop, a concertante aspect is often obliquely evident – horn emerging as ‘first among equals’ within the luminous central movement, whereas those on either side are both through-composed designs that draw on larger forces in an intensive yet dextrous interplay. Dextrousness was more than evident in this fine performance under the watchful guidance of Thierry Fischer….
Richard Whitehouse, Classical Source,8/31/2015
… music of deft atmospheric detail.
Richard Fairman, Financial Times,8/31/2015
Grime counts Oliver Knussen among her mentors and shares his eloquence, but her palette is all her own, weaving evocative, restless motives with cool insistence. She writes as though her music needs to be told...
Kate Molleson, The Guardian,4/22/2012
A Cold Spring sounded as quietly ­distinctive as at its first outing at ­Aldeburgh last summer.
Andrew Clements, The Guardian,1/1/2010
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