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Saint Blue

2014; double concerto for trumpet, piano and strings, after Kandinsky

Inspired by the works of Russian visual artist and visionary, Wassily Kandinsky, Saint Blue (a double concerto for trumpet, piano and strings) is divided into two contrasting sections, with the second essentially embedded in the first—a kind of sonic exploration of the sacred and profane—in a fairly straight-forward A-B-A design. The first section is a reaction to Kandinsky’s 1911 All Saints I (part of the Stadtische Galerie’s permanent collection in Munich), and features the soloists and full string orchestra in a shared expression of this colourful masterpiece. The contrasting B section draws the orchestra’s principal double bass into a trio with the trumpet and piano soloists, creating a kind of extended, jazz-infused cadenza, after Kandinsky’s In Blue (1925; part of the Kunstsammlung Museum’s collection in Dusseldorf). An animated return to the tutti string orchestra and some (evolved) thematic music from All Saints I, concludes Saint Blue.

This work was commissioned by Arts Council England, on behalf of the English Symphony Orchestra. The first performance given by the English Symphony Orchestra, soloists Simon Desbruslais (trumpet) and Clare Hammond (piano), with conductor Kenneth Woods; Elgar Concert Hall, Birmingham, England, 13 May 2015.

from notes by Geoffrey Gordon © 2017


The Art of Dancing
Studio Master: SIGCD513Download onlyStudio Master FLAC & ALAC downloads available

Track-specific metadata for SIGCD513 track 8

Recording date
18 September 2015
Recording venue
Elgar Concert Hall, University of Birmingham, United Kingdom
Recording producer
Tim Oldham
Recording engineer
Mike Hatch
Hyperion usage
  1. The Art of Dancing (SIGCD513)
    Disc 1 Track 8
    Release date: September 2017
    Download only
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