CONTOUR (2012)

CONTOUR (2012)

for wind quintet

instrumentation: fl*, ob*, cl*, fg*, cor
duration: 13 min
première: June 6, 2012 Hochschule für Musik Saarbrücken, Germany
Members of Deutsche Radio Philharmonie Saarbrücken Kaiserslautern

CONTOUR (2012)

for instrumental quintet

instrumentation: ob*, cl*, fg*, cor, tr*
duration: 13 min
première: April 30, 2016, HfMDK Frankfurt am Main, Germany
Ensemble Modern

CONTOUR

score preview

CONTOUR

score preview

CONTOUR

(excerpt)

April 16, 2016, Philharmonie de Paris, France
Ensemble intercontemporain: Sophie Cherrier, Didier Pateau, Jérôme Comte, Paul Riveaux, Jens McManama
Produced by Ensemble intercontemporain

Additional performances

September 15, 2018, HfMDK Frankfurt am Main, Germany
International Ensemble Modern Academy
June 27, 2018, Kölner Philharmonie, Germany
International Ensemble Modern Academy
June 22, 2018, Universität Kassel, Germany
International Ensemble Modern Academy
May 17, 2017, Klangspuren Schwaz, Innsbruck, Austria
Ensemble Windkraft
April 24, 2017, Zagreb Biennale, Croatia
Ensemble Modern
April 10, 2017, Elbphilharmonie Hamburg, Germany
Ensemble Modern
May 26, 2016, Concert Hall of the Central Conservatory of Music, Beijing, China
Ensemble Modern
May 6, 2016, Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, Stevenson Hall, UK
Ensemble Modern
April 16, 2016, Philharmonie de Paris, France
Ensemble Intercontemporain
December 5, 2018, Radiokulturhaus Wien, Austria
Slowind woodwind quintet
November 15, 2018, Slovenian Philharmonic, Ljubljana, Slovenia
Slowind woodwind quintet
November 18, 2015, Narodni Dom Maribor, Slovenia
Slowind woodwind quintet
October 19, 2015, Slovenian Philharmonic, Ljubljana, Slovenia
Slowind woodwind quintet
June 13, 2015, Villa Romana Concert Series, Florence, Italy
Slowind woodwind quintet
October 26, 2013, CampusOne Karlsruhe, Germany
Ensemble TEMA

VIDEO

CONTOUR: Full recording
April 30, 2016, HfMDK Frankfurt am Main
Ensemble Modern

CONTOUR: Full recording
April 10, 2016, HfMDK Frankfurt am Main
Ensemble Modern

ABOUT

At the heart of CONTOUR lies a series of mosaic-like structures, in which each of the five instruments contributes to a single overall sound texture. The individual notes serve as “atoms” within an “irregular periodicity”, perhaps comparable to ocean waves, all of which may look very much alike, but which in fact differ subtly from one to the next. Another comparison might be with the silhouette of a mountain range, which, while consisting in reality of a mass of different points at varying distances from the viewer, appears from afar to be a single, uninterrupted contour.

The mosaic structures are presented in CONTOUR in varying “distances” and perspectives. At the opening, the individual impulses and gestures of each instrument appear sparsely, each able to be heard and savoured for itself. Soon, however, the single events accumulate into a dense flow that draws the listener along irresistibly, while always containing just too much information to be entirely comprehensible. Even within the denser ensemble passages, however, there is variation and clarity, with instruments at times splitting off into groups that present a single, audible “contour”. A particularly prominent role is played by the pairing of piccolo and contrabassoon.

Alwyn Tomas Westbrooke

At the heart of CONTOUR lies a series of mosaic-like structures, in which each of the five instruments contributes to a single overall sound texture. The individual notes serve as “atoms” within an “irregular periodicity”, perhaps comparable to ocean waves, all of which may look very much alike, but which in fact differ subtly from one to the next. Another comparison might be with the silhouette of a mountain range, which, while consisting in reality of a mass of different points at varying distances from the viewer, appears from afar to be a single, uninterrupted contour.

The mosaic structures are presented in CONTOUR in varying “distances” and perspectives. At the opening, the individual impulses and gestures of each instrument appear sparsely, each able to be heard and savoured for itself. Soon, however, the single events accumulate into a dense flow that draws the listener along irresistibly, while always containing just too much information to be entirely comprehensible. Even within the denser ensemble passages, however, there is variation and clarity, with instruments at times splitting off into groups that present a single, audible “contour”. A particularly prominent role is played by the pairing of piccolo and contrabassoon.

Alwyn Tomas Westbrooke

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