STRONG ON OAKS, STRONGER ON THE CAUSES OF OAKS
STRONG ON OAKS, STRONG ON THE CAUSES OF OAKS is a suite in five movements commissioned by the English Sinfonia to celebrate and commemorate their new residency in Stevenage. The title is derived from Sitheneace, the Saxon name for a small settlement in the area of Stevenage close the St Nicholas' Church. The modern translation of the Saxon title is 'Strong Oak'.
"This work takes its starting point from my String Quartet No 4 (1995) and the title derives from the old English origins of the name Stevenage, via Tony Blair.*
It is dedicated to Simon Jeffes, friend and colleague, founder of the Penguin Café Orchestra, who died disgracefully young on 11th December 1997. When I heard of his death I was in the process of orchestrating the final page of the score: in his honour at this point the second violins play 4-note pizzicato chords in the style of the ukulele of which he was a master."
© Michael Nyman 1997
Preview the score