Oliver Knussen described his Requiem as ‘a public grieving process’, written in memory of his spouse who died a premature death. In the four-part song cycle to texts by Dickinson, Machado, Auden and Rilke, the composer-conductor tells of the loss of a loved one, making use of an extremely personal musical idiom. Charles Darwin came to view death as being inextricably bound up with life: Julian Anderson based his Comedy of Change upon Darwin’s evolutionary theory: an ode to life, in which succinct opening material evolves in resounding rhythms and sparkling and varied instrumentation.
Helen Grime, who studied composition with Anderson, offers a lighter touch after this diptych on life and death. She paints ‘a cold spring’ with a warm colour palette, dominated by horn colours.
Requiem – Songs for Sue
The Comedy of Change
A Cold Spring (Dutch première)
These Particular Circumstances (Dutch première)