Ballet with choreography by Edouard Lock. Music, after Purcell and Gluck, for four players:saxophone (soprano, alto, tenor or baritone), viola, cello, piano


February 3, 2011

Gavin’s Notes:

Gavin’s notes

This new work (as yet untitled) with Edouard Lock involves a reworking of music from Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas and Gluck’s Orfeo ed Euridice, just as our previous collaboration, Amjad, took the Romantic ballet – Tchaikovsky’s Swan Lake and Sleeping Beauty as its source.  As with Amjad, Edouard selected many extracts from the two operas for me to recompose. Many of these were very short – sometimes only forty seconds or so – and had to be extended into longer compositions, unlike with Amjad where most pieces were about the same length as music in the original Tchaikovsky ballets. In addition, unlike with Tchaikovsky, a great deal of this music would be unfamiliar to the majority of ballet audiences and so I tended to stay closer to the originals. I wrote over 30 pieces and almost all of them appear in the ballet. The process of writing this music was immensely pleasurable since, as with Tchaikovsky, I learned a great deal more about the source music and its compositional ethos and craft. Some may be surprised at how much of the music for the ballet is actually very fast!!



Gavin Bryars