• André Previn
  • Peaches (1978)

  • Edition Wilhelm Hansen / Chester Music NY Inc (World)
  • flute/pf
  • 5 min

Programme Note

As a composer, Previn is perhaps best known for his early film scores and for his enormously successful collaboration with Tom Stoppard in EVERY GOOD BOY DESERVES FAVOUR in 1974. More recently, his output has included two works for symphony orhcestra (PRINCIPALS and REFLECTIONS), two sets of jazz compositions, a set of songs and several short instrumental pieces. He has just completed a PIANO CONCERTO to be performed by Vladimir Ashkenazy and the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra in June next year.

It is widely regretted that, in general, contemporary composers seem reluctant to produce anything that might be termed 'salon music': fears of adverse critical reaction, coupled with the persistence of the romantic concept of music as a legacy for posterity, seem to stifle any thought of writing for pleasure alone. Thankfully, this burden was not felt by the likes of Schubert, Brahms, Elgar and refreshingly, Previn who, as the author of 'Who reads reviews?' has said:

"I'm simply a man who enjoys writing music. Most of what I write sounds pretty good, but I have no delusions about it being played after I die: I just want it played next week." (published in Hamish Hamilton, 1981)

As for PEACHES one could say that this is a lyrical waltz-like andante written in a simple ternary form. The basic keyisD major but the piece is characterised by harmonic side-slips, rather in the manner of Poulenc. Previn's vast experience as a confuctor enables him to exploit the capabilities of the flute to the full. But all this goes against the spirit in which the piece was written - would you wish to read a dull botanical description before eating fruit?

© Graham Mackie, 1984