Blackheath Counterpoint

1992

For: Orchestra
2Fl, 2Ob, 2Cl, 2Bn, 2Hn, 2Tpt, 1Perc, Strings
Duration: 10 minutes

Commissioned by The Orchestra At Blackheath

This piece was written for the conductor Rupert Bond and The Orchestra at Blackheath. It was given its first performance by them in the Great Hall of the Blackheath Concert Halls on March 7th 1993. The commission specified the 'classical' scale of the orchestra and that it was to be the first item on the programme. With this in mind, I tried to give the music a lively and overture like quality.

The music consists of three layers that overlap each other, each one being of differing length. The same material is used in each layer but compressed in the shorter layers. The music is focused around a point, approximately two thirds of the way through, at which all three layers reach the same position. The piece, therefore, starts with one layer, grows progressively more complex, both tonally and texturally, with the addition of the second and third layers and comes together again at the focus point. The process is then reversed in a truncated form and at a slower tempo in the latter part of the piece. In all, Blackheath Counterpoint lasts ten minutes.

Reviews

Blackheath Counterpoint ... clarity of orchestration and of ideas, beautifully shaped. It is purposeful and athletic. It appeals to the pro and the concertgoer and will stand up to repeated hearings. What more do you want!
Stanley Glasser - Classic FM