the glens - brighton festival

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Brighton Festival Concerts - 2008
The Glens are putting on two concerts in this years Brighton festival.

May 7th, 13.00, St. Nicholas :
Four Preludes -
Composed in 1956 in Poland this piece contains four atmospheric miniatures. The first - "moderato" has a simple lyrical theme that is explored by the bassoon in contrasting style and register. The second - "allegro" contrasts a striking rhythmic motive in 5/4 with a legato line. The slow third movement is the calm before the storm of an exciting rhythmic finale with an abrupt finish.

Allegro - Mikhail Glinka
Composed between 1825-28 by the "father" of Russian music. This is an arrangement of the only movement in Glinka's unfinished romantic sonata for viola and piano.

Sonata -
1956 was a good year for the bassoon in Poland as this rarely performed sonata demonstrates. The first movement - allegro moderato, juxtaposes percussive and calm lyrical themes. Frequent use of heavy accents and staccato energises the rythmic sections. A gentler more melodic andante cantabile - with it's own dramatiic mid section, precedes the concluding scherzo which features more staccato, accents and wide leaps.

4 Pieces - Alexander Mossolov
iis best known for "The Iron Foundry" from the ballet "Steel" composed in 1926. Mossolov was not appreciated by the soviet authorities and was punished for "public drunkenness" in 1936 after writing to Stalin complaining that somehow he had become a "musical outlaw". This collection of delightful melodic miniatures, Chant, Gavotte, Waltz and Défilé is an example of soviet realism at its best.

May 17th - Brighton Festival
"The Brighton Bassoon"

Music from Hurlstone to Finnisy

A celebration of British Bassoon music incorporating new pieces by composers with a Brighton connection. In this unique Brighton Festival event The-Glens will perform two of the finest compositions for bassoon and piano - sonatas by and Richard Rodney Bennet - and premiere works by Paul Car r, Michael Finnissy, Barry Mills , James Shenton and Chris Gander.

bassoon sonata - 1906, is a masterpiece from a composer who could well have given Elgar a run for his money were it not for his untimely death. A demanding piano part is paired with a bassoon line that is both full of character and shows a real understanding of the bassoon's capabilities. Lively, fun and optimistic outer movements frame a dark Ballade and full bodied Allegretto.

Richard Rodney Bennett's sonata - 1992, is a substantial and beautifully crafted work in three movements. A quirky Forlana replaces the more traditional slow sonata movement. The reason for this becomes clear as the sonata unfolds, a conservatively paced Moderato ends with a gentle singing melody and the concluding Molto Allegro has energetic passages punctuated by calm languorous sections that take full advantage of the bassoon's more somber character.

Barry Mill's three pieces was written for The Glens in 2007 and premiered at last years Brighton Festival. The opening melodic "Lament" is in complete contrast to "Play" - a frenetic filling to the sandwich in which the bassoon and piano throw fast moving note clusters at each other. The work concludes with "Dissolving Arabesques" a movement inspired by the bassoon cadenzas in Rimsky Korsakov's Sheherezarde.

Paul Carr's
Sonatina for Bassoon and Piano -"Commissioned by, and dedicated to"The Glens", Sonatina was written over the course or a few days in December here on the islandof Mallorca where I live. Trying to start a piece is always the most difficult thing and sometimes I have to search for an outer iinspiration - on this occasion a beautiful walk on our local beach with my partner Cy, and our three small dogs, started me off with the first movent Running with Dogs , not that I do a lot of running these days, but you get the drift! In the summer months the beach is crowded, but during the winter it is deserted save for a few locals, also with dogs. It is a heavenly spot, and in the fading golden sun of a December day, even more so.

The slow movement, Poetic, Somewhat Sad has a rather nostalgic feel to it. Written in the form of a simple song, it's gentle lyricism lends it an air of days gone bye, a quiet lamenting song of memories and of thoughtfulness.

And to end with, Short Impromptu Dance , is simply just that!"

James Shenton - Septimus Falling "This piece is based on S,H & E: (the first three letters of my surname) and the mood at the beginning is one of insanity. At the time I was writing this piece I was also reading Mrs Dalloway by Virginia Woolf and two things became intertwined when I got to the part where Septimus arrives back from the trenches in the first world war and, suffering from shell-shock, starts to go mad.

In the 2nd movement he recovers temporarily and helps his wife make one of her hats.

In the 3rd movement, their brief period of happiness is interrupted by a knock at the door as Dr. Holmes arrives, determined to take Septimus away to a Lunatic Asylum. Septimus makes his mind up to escape and, jumping out of an upstairs window, is impailed on some railings."

Be sure to put these Brighton Festival concerts in your diary.