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Michael Nyman

Publisher: Chester Music

Where the Bee Dances (1991),
commissioned by the Bournemouth Sinfonietta
Publisher
Chester Music Ltd
Category
Soloist(s) and Orchestra
Year Composed
1991
Duration
20 Minutes
Soloist
soprano saxophone


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Programme Note
Michael Nyman Where the Bee Dances (1991),
This saxophone concerto, written in one continuous movement with a wide variety of tempi, celebrates the talents of John Harle, who has been a central player in the Michael Nyman Band for over ten years. The title has a double reference: on the one hand to the circular orientation dances which a foraging bee performs to communicate the location of food source, and on the other hand to my setting of ‘Where the bee sucks’, composed for Peter Greenaway’s film Prospero’s Books and quoted sporadically during the concerto. However, most of the material is derived from a 4-chord sequence that John once overheard me playing and which he expressed a particular liking for. Michael Nyman

  • Ensemble
    Bournemouth Sinfonietta
    Soloist(s)
    John Harle, saxophone
    Conductor
    Ivor Bolton
  • Ensemble
    London Musici
    Soloist(s)
    Gerard McChrystal, saxophone
    Conductor
    Mark Stephenson
    Silva Classics:
  • Ensemble
    Ulster Orchestra
    Soloist(s)
    Simon Haram, saxophone
    Conductor
    Takuo Yuasa
    Naxos:
  • Ensemble
    Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
    Soloist(s)
    Amy Dickinson, sax
    Conductor
    Mikel Toms
Performances
Date
Title
Reviews
Michael Nyman’s saxophone concerto Where the Bee Dances (played by Gerard McChrystal and the London Musici) proves yet again that minimalist music makes for wonderful ballet scores. The choreography for the 12 dancers is joyful and open-chested, as [choreographer Christopher] Bruce’s perfectly timed phrases ride a momentum of emotionally rich, fluently constructed steps.
Debra Craine, The Times,6/1/1995
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