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Contradance : for 11 players

by Andrew Ford (2015)



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Contradance : for 11 players / Andrew Ford.

Library shelf no. 785.2219/FOR 1 [Available for loan]

Work Overview

A minor obsession in my music of the past 25 years has been superimposing different and sometimes conflicting dance rhythms and metres. One of the first pieces to explore this was the string octet Pastoral (1991), another was Dance Maze (1996) for 17 instruments, a third example was the string quintet Sad Jigs ( 2005). In all these pieces I also tried to create a sort of invented folk music.

Contradance is another such attempt, and I chose the title partly to point to the rhythmic and metrical oppositions in the music, and partly to underline its rather boisterous nature: the historical term 'contradance' is an English version of the French 'contradanse', which in turn was a corruption of the English 'country dance'.

It was only after I had begun composing the piece, however, that I realised there was a further connection between title and music in the often galumphing tread of the instrumentation, featuring the bass clarinet, the bottom end of the piano and, in particular, the contrabassoon and contrabass.

Work Details

Year: 2015

Instrumentation: Flute (doubling piccolo), oboe, clarinet (doubling bass clarinet), bassoon (doubling contrabassoon), horn, piano, 2 violins, viola, cello, double bass.

Duration: 11 min.

Difficulty: Advanced

Dedication note: Dedicated to Mark Wakely

Commission note: Commissioned by Steven Alward for performance by Omega Ensemble.

First performance: by Omega Ensemble at Omega Ensemble (City Recital Hall) on 20 Apr 2016

Performances of this work

20 Apr 2016: at Omega Ensemble (City Recital Hall). Featuring Omega Ensemble.

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