This is Simpson’s first essay for the medium and is one of the most instantly attractive and freshly original works in his oeuvre. It was commissioned for the 1971 Brass Band World Championship at the Royal Albert Hall, London, in October of that year. Any listener familiar with Simpson’s work will know that energy is an essential part of his music. This work is literally a single composed accelerando, similar in design to the second movement of the Symphony No 3 (1962) and the concluding fugue of the vast String Quartet No 9 (1982).
Energy is made up of five short sections, gradually increasing in activity from a solemn Adagio maestoso introduction to a fiercely exuberant finale, Presto vivo. Each section is a little faster than the previous one, thereby creating the impression of a massive acceleration in momentum and excitement, despite the fact that the basic pulse that opens the work remains unaltered throughout. Energy is dedicated to Eric Ball, himself a renowned conductor and composer of brass band music.
from notes by Matthew Taylor © 1991