These are among my bigger canvases for varying sizes of orchestra. They straddle more than thirty years of inner struggle with this composerÂ´s ear and ounds .
The THREE ORCHESTRAL PIECES are for middle-size orchestra ( I do insist on the sub-title: ” Pictures From MY Exhibition” ) . They are my three expanding time-pictures, ca. 2 minutes, 4 minutes and 6 minutes. I was thirty years old . This work won the 1975 Dublin Symphony Orchestra ComposerÂ´s Competition.
Five years later I had left Dublin for Berlin . SYMPHONIES OF SYMPHONIES OF WIND was premiered by the O.R.F.Symphony Orchestra in Vienna 1981. Of course it is “about” more than StravinskyÂ´s masterpiece for 23 wind-instruments ( – at its premiere in 1918 his grave caoine on the death of Debussy was a flop with the audience , a salutary reminder to still young me as I went about stealing his ” Russian Chord” ) ; my symphony is very much “about” great masses of air , sounding wind, time shaped slowly into an enfolding 24 minutes of musical argument.
What separates QUASI UN LAMENTO , then, from the SYMPHONIES ? Well, twenty five years of a lived life, three other symphonies, many sound-sculptures, instrumental and electro-acoustic. IÂ´d written the MAD SWEENEY series ( – better: collection of works triggered off by my 1996 setting of Seamus HeaneyÂ´s English version of ” Buile Suibhne / Mad Sweeney” . By 2005 I was coming to the end of my ” Quasi ” series , pieces of many different sizes and shapes, all of them mindful of towering musical works composed in at least these last 200 years . This ten-minutes essay for a small orchestra including three saxophones and accordeon is as much
my protest as my lament.
At around the same time I composed QUASI UN CANTO for the Zagreb Philharmonic . Here the orchestral forces are vast. My short Prelude, central Argomento and short Postludio present a big picture.