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.
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