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Helen Grime

Publisher: Chester Music

Limina (2019)
Jointly commissioned by the Boston Symphony Orchestra and the Tanglewood Music Center, with generous support from the Harriett Eckstein New Commissions Fund. First performed on 15th July 2019 at Tanglewood Summer Music Festival, MA, by the Tanglewood Music Center Orchestra conducted by Killian Farrell.
Work Notes
Uk premiere reserved until December 2020. For further information contact
Chester Music Ltd
Year Composed
12 Minutes

  • 27 FEB 2020
    Symphony Hall, Boston, MA
    Boston Symphony Orchestra
    Giancarlo Guerrero, conductor

    Other Dates:
    28,29 February; 3 March - Symphony Hall, Boston, MA

The title refers to “thresholds”—borderlines between successive states, an idea suggested by her reading a 1963 novel, The Ice Palace, by the Norwegian author Tarjei Vesaas. The work is a long, gradual arch in form, building from an opening marked “Bright” to a monumentally dense climax, then relaxing to a close marked Ecstatic and tender at a pianissimo dynamic. The principal materials going into this long rise and descent, in terms of texture and dynamics, are long-held complex chords sustained by specific families of instruments (beginning with two-fold violas and cellos) over which the upper woodwinds undertake virtuosic flurries of rapidly moving figures in echoing statements.... The sense of power, even at a low dynamic, continues to the tender ending.
Steven Leadbetter, The Boston Musical Intelligencer,24/07/2019
...a thirteen-minute depiction of “thresholds” between various expressive states. The densely orchestrated score for large ensemble produced a range of sonorities, from forbidding to caressing, but these fearless musicians met its awesome technical demands with aplomb. Irish conducting fellow Killian Farrell directed a stunningly virtuosic performance.
Michael J. Moran, In the Spotlight,15/07/2019
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