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Brian Ferneyhough - Schatten aus Wasser und Stein



Information about Brian Ferneyhough can be found at: 
 
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brian_Ferneyhough


'Schatten aus Wasser und Stein' (2013) was composed in response to a request from Christopher Redgate for a chamber work utilizing his newly-developed quarter-tone oboe.  It follows on from my 'Finis Terrae' of 2012 in its concern with the sometimes alienating and perplexing otherness of natural phenomena. The imagined shadows of the title are to be understood as sharing the immaterial, uncertainly mediated nature of penumbral phenomena, the while manifesting transient defining qualities of successions of fluid or immobile states. In this sense, perhaps, music is unequalled as ars umbrarum. The opening section, where gnarled and tangled lines in the oboe are partially reflected in the uncertain light of pitch extensions in the two violins and viola, might be seen to set the stage for this pervasive image. 
Although a work for oboe quintet, I contrived to break the quartet down into various duos and trios interspersed with brief flashes of violent quartet figurations. Having many years ago composed my 4th Quartet with soprano voice, I did not want, on this occasion, for the piece to be mistaken for a string quartet with adjunct oboe, particularly since a number of genres and formal conventions are alluded to en passant
Schatten aus Wasser und Stein is warmly dedicated to Christopher Redgate, without whose encouragement and expertise this work could never have been written.
 

Three clips from a conversation with Brian Ferneyhough about his Schatten aus Wasser und Stein for oboe and string quartet can be heard here.