• Julian Philips
  • Sextet (1999)
    (For Wind Quintet and Piano )

  • Peters Edition Limited (World)
  • 16 min

Programme Note

Sextet for piano and wind (1999)

Sextet for piano and wind was completed in May 1999, and commissioned by that year's Warwick and Leamington Festival, with funds from West Midlands Arts. 

Cast in three movements, the Sextet lasts approximately 16 minutes.  Much of its musical argument is pithy and concentrated, its ideas fleeting and brief.  The instrumental texture throughout is clearly stratified, allowing for piano sonorities to weave in and out of the wind, sometimes blending, sometimes contrasting.

While neither of the two outer movements exceeds four minutes in length, the central movement is far more substantial, combining scherzo and slow movement into a single span.  Both blocks of material here are based on variation techniques, elements of both combined in a serene coda.

While the first movement builds drama out of the juxtaposition of an urgent rhythmic motif with a more lyrical theme, the finale consists of a series of "games", instigated by the french horn, whose inevitable arguments and tantrums are eventually transformed in a final song.

This Sextet was dedicated to Richard Phillips, as a token of gratitude for his tireless support of new music, and inspired by the extraordinary playing of pianist Andrew Ball.

Julian Philips, 2023