Ruby

Joe Duddell (1972)

Ruby 2002-2003

3333 - 4331 - timp - hp.pno - strings
Duration 
25
Solist 
Genre 
Commissioner 
Publisher 

Ruby forms the final part of a triptych of works written for the percussionist Colin Currie. The first, Parallel Lines, for percussion and piano, was written in 1999, followed by Snowblind, for percussion and strings, written in 2002. While the first two works are almost exclusively for tuned percussion, Ruby incorporates an un-tuned kit set-up, but the emphasis is still on the tuned instruments. In fact, the contrast between the rhythmic and colouristic properties of the un-tuned and the melodic and harmonic possibilities of the tuned is one of the underlying ‘arguments’ of the work. So, along with the familiar muscular sonorities of the drum kit, Colin has material with which he can engage with the orchestra’s harmonic framework in a lyrical manner. After all, this is what one might expect from a concerto for any other instrument, so why not for percussion? One might also expect some theatrical leaping from one instrument set to another and, while there are some quick changes for Colin to make, these are for purely musical reasons and not meant as some hackneyed dramatic effect.

Ruby is in a conventional three-movement form (basically: medium - slow - fast) but one where the three sections form an overall arc shape. The first two movements have two tempos each, which are incorporated (along with the material) into the third, with the final passage being in the same tempo as the opening. Almost all the material of the work is derived from the soloist’s two ostinatos and the trumpet figure and string chords from the beginning of the first movement. There are prominent roles for the first flute, trumpet, piano and double bass, which, along with Colin, form a ‘concerto grosso’ group in the third movement. The vast majority of my titles are borrowed from other sources and are completely abstract (as is the majority of the music). Ruby was a joke that stuck, and anybody with a rudimentary grasp of rhyming slang can work it out! The work is dedicated to Colin Currie. As a critic once remarked, Colin is ‘a musician first, percussionist second’ and for those of us all too familiar with derogatory ‘drummer’ jokes, this is both high and well deserved praise.

Joe Duddell

Performances 
25.7.03 BBC Proms, London: Colin Currie / Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra / Marin Alsop
2.5.04 City Halls, Glasgow: Colin Currie / BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra / Ilan Volkov
27.5.04 Lucerne, Switzerland: Colin Currie / Lucerne Symphony Orchestra / Christian Arming
30.6.05 Auckland, New Zealand: Colin Currie / Auckland Philharmonic Orchestra / Paul Mann
3/4.5.08 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia: Colin Currie / Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra / Kevin Field
25.11.09 BBC Studio 7, Manchester: Colin Currie / BBC Philharmonic Orchestra / Clark Rundell
27.11.09 Salford University: Colin Currie / BBC Philharmonic Orchestra / Clark Rundell
28.3.13 Stuttgart, Germany: Preisträger des Wettbewerbs / Stuttgart Philharmonic Orchestra
Plus numerous amateur performances. Please visit http://en.schott-music.com for full details
3
Flute
3rd piccolo
3
Oboe
3rd cor anglais
3
Clarinet
1st & 2nd clarinet in A, 3rd bass clarinet
3
Bassoon
3rd contrabassoon
4
Horn
3
Trumpet
3
Trombone
3rd bass trombone
1
Tuba
1
Timpani
1
Harp
1
Piano
1
Other
solo percussion: vibraphone, marimba, crotales, 7 tuned gongs, drum kit
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