5 Lessons in a Frame

Harrison Birtwistle (1934)

5 Lessons in a Frame 2015

1111 - 1110 - perc(1) - 11111
Duration 
20
Publisher 

Having written five instrumental duets for members of the London Sinfonietta I wanted to find a context for their performance together. I was reminded of Pictures at an Exhibition where Mussorgsky creates something unique with his returning ‘Promenade’. The chorale which surrounds the duets functions like a frame for a painting, which can alter the perception of the artwork and even change its nature. The 10 duettists, who move in five pairs to solo positions at the front – wide or close – are joined by a cello and double bass that can’t move easily, and a side drum player who often acts as leader of the ritual and provides punctuation.

Harrison Birtwistle, 2016

Performances 
1.6.16 St John's Smith Square, London: London Sinfonietta / Martyn Brabbins
20.5.17 Funkhaus Wallrafplatz, Cologne, Germany: Ensemble MusikFabrik / Enno Poppe
14.7.17 Britten Studio, Aldeburgh Music: Britten-Pears Contemporary Ensemble / Jonathan Berman
24.6.18 Pierre Boulez Saal, Berlin: Boulez Ensemble / Antonio Pappano
1
Flute
doubling alto flute
1
Oboe
doubling cor anglais
1
Clarinet
doubling Eb clarinet
1
Bassoon
1
Horn
1
Trumpet
1
Trombone
1
Percussion
side drum
1
Violin
1
Violin II
1
Viola
1
Cello
1
Double bass
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