In writing my Chamber Concerto I wanted to create a piece which exploited a lot of different instrumental combinations, whilst never settling on one particular musical idea for too long. The result of this was a piece made up of fifteen sections (the durations of which were worked out before I started writing the music). Sections vary in length from nine seconds for a mini oboe cadenza to two and a half minutes for the coda. Solo instruments or concertante groups feature most of the time and there are cadenzas for oboe, tomtoms and violin.
The sections are marked ‘with a sense of urgency/bold and expressive/dry and machine-like/dancing and pushing forward/oboe cadenza/transparent and ghostly/slower (solo clarinet)/tomtoms cadenza/with passion/hard and driving/ turbulent/jazzy/violin cadenza/scintillating/frozen.’
Philip Cashian’s new piece, the latest in BCMG’s remarkable line of Sound Investment commissions, is really a concerto for chamber orchestra. In its exploration of rhythmic figurations Cashian’s work propels itself along with brave directness….the ultimate effect gripped convincingly.
The Birmingham Post
First performed by BCMG conducted by Elgar Howarth at the Adrian Boult Hall, Birmingham on 25 October 1995.