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The elements


In Spring 2018 I was approached by the Hanke Brothers who commissioned me to write a work on the theme of the four elements. The ensemble consists of piano, viola, recorder and tuba, a rare combination which results in a truly unique timbre. In Air, I used piano arpeggios in a relatively high register combined with a repetitive rhythmic pattern on the recorder part to convey a light, airborne feel. Water has a slower, more legato, flowing melody which is played by the tuba, viola and recorder, accompanied by the piano. To depict the flames of Fire, I indicated in the score to strum the strings of the piano in an upwards glissando. This was combined with a minor trill in the violin whilst the viola plays pizzicato. With Earth, I wanted to create a more grounded feel so anchored the music with long pedal notes in the tuba and used a repeated rhythmic pattern in the viola to propel the music towards its climactic ending. The Hanke Brothers premiered The Elements in Stuttgart on 14 July 2018 and recorded the work the following month at the Alte Zigarrenfabrik studios, Germany.

from notes by Oliver Davis © 2019


Davis (O): Arcadia
SIGCD590Download only


No 1: Air
Track 14 on SIGCD590 [3'20] Download only
No 2: Water
Track 15 on SIGCD590 [3'23] Download only
No 3: Fire
Track 16 on SIGCD590 [4'13] Download only
No 4: Earth
Track 17 on SIGCD590 [2'56] Download only

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