Martin Suckling (1981)

Postcards 2012-2013

strings (43221)

Originally described as ‘postcards’, these pieces were written for the Scottish Ensemble’s 2012-13 season, with one included in each of their UK tours. Although the musical idea underlying each piece might fit on the back of a postcard, the result is a little more substantial than such a title suggests –hence ‘short story’. They can be performed individually or as a complete set. I – Chimes at Midnight A series of bells. From within the resonance,echoes of a dance emerge, and a high violin sings. II – Mr Jonathan Morton, His Ground Where the violin leads, the others follow, eventually arriving at rich, gleaming microtonal chords covering all registers. Throughout the whole piece a simple melodic phrase loops over and again. III – Touch A toccata of scurrying semiquavers in which the players join, separate, and recombine in ever-changing groupings to create a many-voiced polyphony. The journey repeats – though with each iteration it is squeezed into smaller and smaller spaces, until eventually it is barely there at all. IV – In Memoriam Stepping out into what seemed to be the first day of Spring: barely a breeze, and the sunlight warm against my face. A sequence of microtonal harmonies gradually transform into singing cello lines backed by fragments of dance and birdsong.

Martin Suckling

21.10.13 Music Hall, Aberdeen: Scottish Ensemble
22.10.13 Queen's Hall, Edinburgh: Scottish Ensemble
23.10.13 Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, Glasgow: Scottish Ensemble
24.10.13 Concert Hall, Perth: Scottish Ensemble
26.10.13 Wigmore Hall, London: Scottish Ensemble
10.1.14 Royal Academy of Music, London: Royal Academy Soloists / Clio Gould
21.1.14 Royal Academy of Music, London: Royal Academy Students / London Sinfonietta / Jonathan Morton
22.9.14 Penrith, Cumbria: Scottish Ensemble
Violin II
Double bass