• 2(pic)22(bcl)2/4220/timp.perc/hp/str(
  • cor anglais [=cello]
  • 13 min

Programme Note

André Previn describes himself as a conductor who enjoyes composing rather than a composer who conducts. In the past 30 years or so he has nevertheless written a considerable quantity of music, including film scores, musical comedy, chamber music and orchestral works. One of his most recent successes was EVERY GOOD BOY DESERVES FAVOUR, a highly original piece of music theatre in which he collaborated with the playwright Tom Soppard.

REFLECTIONS was commissioned by the Saratoga Performing Arts Center for the Philadelphia Orchestra, which gave the first performance on the 13 August last year in Saratoga under the baton of Sergiu Comissiona. Andrå Previn himself conducted the work in Pittsburgh last month and now introduces it to this country.

The terms of the commission were that this should be a work of about 15 minutes' duration making use of one or more soloists from the orchestra. Mr.Previn chose the cor anglais and cello as solo intruments because the dark sound of this unusual combination appealed to him and suited the comparatively mellow and inward composition he had in mind to write, having just completed two brilliant pieces for the Pittsburgh Symphony and Vienna Philharmonic orchestras. Hence the title, REFLECTIONS, which connotes not mirror images but simply the thoughtful character of the work.

Scored for a normal full orchestra, it is cast in one movement containing three sections: slow, fast and slow. Although the cor anglais part is by no means easy to play, the solo cellist has the more agile and virtuosic role. In the middle section, as the composer puts it, 'the cor anglais carries on a fairly stately line throughout, while the cello is all over the place.' However, he conceives the two solo partsas having equal importance.