Aspects of Radiance

Christian Mason (1984)

Aspects of Radiance 2005

2222 - 4231 - perc(2) - harp - piano - strings (10.8.6.6.4)
Duration 
10
Genre 
Commissioner 
Publisher 

Last summer, while reading The Glass Bead Game by Hermann Hesse, I was struck by this passage:

“They stayed for rapt moments in the crystal sphere of this soul, as if in a realm of invisible radiation, listening to unearthly music, and they returned to their daily lives with hearts cleansed and strengthened, as if descending from a high mountain peak.”

The thought of creating a ‘realm of invisible radiation’, an ‘unearthly music’, while possibly not entirely realisable in this earth-bound context, was a profound imaginative stimulus…

Shortly after completing the piece I came upon these words, powerfully suggestive of the musical ideas in Aspects of Radiance, while reading Four Quartets by T. S. Eliot:

We must be still and still moving

Into another intensity

For a further union, a deeper communion.

Christian Mason

Performances 
20.5.05 Sir Jack Lyons Concert Hall, York: Orchestra of Opera North/Elgar Howarth
8.7.07 Leeds Conductors Competition: Orchestra of Opera North/competition entrants
2
Flute
2nd doubling piccolo
2
Oboe
2nd doubling cor anglais
2
Clarinet
2nd doubling bass clarinet
2
Bassoon
2nd doubling contrabassoon
4
Horn
2
Trumpet
3
Trombone
1
Tuba
2
Percussion
triangle, tubular bells, cymbals, tenor drum, 4 tom-tom, vibraphone, suspended cymbals, bass drum
10
Violin
8
Violin II
6
Viola
6
Cello
4
Double bass
1
Harp
1
Piano
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