Game I – Fidgety, skittish
Game II – Meccanico ma accelerando
Nocturne – Drifting, malleable
The first two movements (the ‘games’) have a sense of play – the first game alternates skittish piano solos with moments of absolute stasis, before the whole ensemble joins in a bluesy, insectoid jamboree. In the second game, an initially ominous trudge in marimba and piano is incrementally disrupted and sped up to become a fast and volatile rush to the finish.
The nocturne that ends the piece is the more sombre older cousin of these games – here insistent, chiming octaves in the glockenspiel and piano are surrounded by gently swaying chords and astringent contributions from piccolo and violin, as the music drifts towards its conclusion.
St Michael’s Ancoats, Manchester, UK
6 instruments: flute[=picc], clarinet, percussion: glsp/crot[optional]/mar/2 woodblocks/ - piano - violin[scord].cello
Commissioned by Psappha with support from Ernst von Siemens Muzikstiftung and Britten-Pears Foundation