• Martin Dalby
  • Man Walking: Serenade for Octet (1981)

  • Novello & Co Ltd (World)

Commissioned by the Nash Ensemble with financial assistanc from the Arts Council of Great Britain

  • 0101/1000/str(
  • 18 min

Programme Note

Martin Dalby: Man Walking - Serenade for Octet
for clarinet, bassoon, horn, string quintet

Man Walking is dedicated to Amelia Freedman and the Nash Ensemble with whom I have enjoyed a fruitful and friendly working relationship for many years. The Nash Ensemble has commissioned it with the financial help of the Arts Council of Great Britain, and are playing it for the first time this evening.

From the beginning I have thought of Man Walking as a Serenade. It grew in my mind from a caprice - the reading after so many years of a well-known children's poem I loved as a child. For the moment I prefer not to identify the poem - my title, Man Walking offers a clue. So often, the recollection of the delicious things of childhood jolts the awareness of one's present style of life. So did the reading of the poem. My Serenade is a song, a song about myself as I see my life now. These thoughts promote the energies of the first movement and the tranquillity of the second.

The Octet is scored for the same happy combination of instruments that Schubert used in his Octet. The two movements are played without a break. A short coda serves as a sort of recapitulation, a reconciliation of the material in each movement. There's the ghost of a fiddle tune by the great Scottish violinist, J. Scott Skinner, another echo of my childhood.

© Martin Dalby