Raymond Deane


"Embers" - National Symphony Orchestra

Embers was composed in 1973 for string quartet, in which form it was first performed in December of that year by an ad hoc ensemble under the late Charlie Maguire. Six years later I made this orchestral version, exploiting the possibility of a solo violin, and giving the double-basses a slightly out-of-synch role symbolic of their later arrival on the scene. This was first performed in 1984 by the RTESO under the late Albert Rosen, and was subsequently presented at the UNESCO International Rostrum of Composers in Paris.

The piece obsessively turns over musical fragments which seem to have some remote but uncertain origin, briefly rises to a climax, comes to rest in a modal violin tune, then takes its leave with a dominant seventh question mark...

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