• str
  • 14 min

Programme Note

In 1990 I was commissioned by the celebrated Raschèr Saxophone Quartet to write a piece for them. They first performed my 'A Little More Night Music' in Bielefeld in 1991. For various reasons, they didn’t’ play it much after that; nor did anyone else. The actual composition process had reminded me a bit of writing for string quartet, so I thought about making an arrangement for strings. This 'Nocturne' is the result. It was first performed by the Northern Sinfonia in 1996 under my direction. It is a one-movement piece lasting about 13 minutes. The initial material is cantabile with hints of Bartokian insect life. The contrasting fast music is soft and mysterious. A central episode, still soft, leads to a Vivace quasi tarantella which achieves a raucous fortissimo. Tonality is never far away - a rather nice D minor occurs near the end.