Though Out of time
has no overt musical connection with Mozart, it shares a similar world to Figures in a Garden
. Both pieces are made up of a mosaic of short movements, and have a relaxed and benign feel, though the characters in Mozart’s Figaro
are replaced, in Out of time
, with a single, real person. Dove describes Out of time
as ‘a serenade for someone I never met’. The piece, commissioned for the Vanbrugh Quartet, by Mrs Elizabeth Allsebrook in memory of her husband, Peter, is not a musical portrait, but an evocation of someone with life-enhancing energy, and an elegy for his departure. There are six short movements, opening with a rushing, rustling idea that occasionally blossoms into a fragment of expressive melody. The second is, in the composer’s own words, ‘a kind of nocturne in which the gentle pulsings are slightly out of time with each other, like sleepers in the same room’. This is followed by a brief bucolic dance, marked ‘stomping’. The last three movements run together, a jig that reveals a little folk-like melody that dominates in a slow nostalgic conclusion; a more aggressive, but still bucolic movement that leads, by way of the little folk fragment to an elegiac finale, where the folkish melody plays out to a procession of slow moving lines, as an apotheosis.
from notes by Julian Grant © 2017