Written for Mike Newman

This work can be played in various combinations

  • 3 violin lines for children; 5 string lines ( for adults
  • 10 min

Programme Note

1. Tingly Loup
2. Roos Loch
3. Streamers
4. Cata Sands
5. Teeohuppo
6. Stramash

From these tunes’ lovely folksy opening, you might think you were in the middle of Amish country and Maurice Jarre’s award-winning score for the film Witness. A tribute to the Orkney island where Max lives, they’re also a throwback to his vivid arrangements of Renaissance Scottish Dances. But Max is ever the Educationalist : since his youthful orchestral Klee Pictures, he has been devising manageable, tuneful works that can be enjoyed – in various combinations – by virtual beginners (some aged as young as five!). Here are vital rhythms, a virtual reel (the final ‘Stramash’), and a lovely nostalgic slow tune with a Scandinavian tinge. There’s a whisper of Purcell too, a composer Max ‘arranged’ back in the 1960s; shades of Warlock’s Capriol Suite, maybe (no.2: ‘Roos Loch’); and echoes of Benjamin Britten, whose ‘school’ arrangements were penned for a similar purpose. The upper string gambolling (‘Streamers’), almost leisurely Scotch snap rhythms (‘Cata Sands’), jauntily striding lower string lines and perky pizzicati (‘Teeohuppo’ – recalling Britten’s ‘Playful Pizzicato’) all lend piquancy; so that in these cheeky, dancing pieces musical eras merge and time stands still. - Roderic Dunnett