Commissioned by the City of Glasgow to mark the opening of the new international concert hall and to celebrate the city as cultural capital of Europe

  • 2222/4331/timp.3perc/hp.syn/str
  • 12 min

Programme Note

Rainbow is soundscape in both a literal and a figurative sense. In nature, of course, a rainbow heralds the end of a storm and the reappearance of the sun. Rainbow begins with a quiet expressive oboe solo accompanied by a sustained A major chord (representing the sun), soon to be overwhelmed by the approaching storm which erupts violently in a fast tumultuous section.

Eventually the storm dies away and the rainbow appears; a lyrical theme accompanied by three major chords (the three primary colours of the spectrum: red, yellow, blue). When the rainbow fades, the sun blazes out; the A major chord accompanying the initial oboe melody, now played by all the violins. The brass adds a chorale of thanksgiving, bringing a mood of calm confident fulfillment.

Rainbow was first performed at the Royal Concert Hall, Glasgow by the Scottish National Orchestra, conducted by Bryden Thomson.