• Richard Rodney Bennett
  • After Syrinx I (1982)

  • Novello & Co Ltd (World)

Commissioned by the Seaton Music Club, Devon

First of a series of pieces based on Debussy's Syrinx for solo flute

  • oboe/pf
  • 12 min

Programme Note

Richard Rodney Bennett has said that the late works of Debussy have always been of special importance to him, and in the last few years he has written a series of works based on Debussy's Syrinx for solo flute, of which this is the first, commissioned by the Seaton Music Society for Malcolm Messiter. The other works in the series are After Syrinx II for solo marimba, Sonato After Syrinx for flute, viola and harp (the same combination as in one of Debussy's last three Sonatos) the Tango After Syrinx for solo piano and Dreamdancing commissioned by the London Sinfonietta for Bennett's fiftieth birthday last year.

After Syrinx I is in four linked movements which, although in greatly contrasting moods, are all melodically based on the opening of Debussy's Syrinx, which is presented on the oboe at the beginning of the work. This opening Adagio Flessibile is followed without a break by Scherzo II. The oboe cadenza which follows leads into the final Adagio.