4 Esquisses

Composition


Inglis, B. 2020. 4 Esquisses. The Alkan Society/Composers Edition.
Title of work4 Esquisses
CreatorsInglis, B.
Description

A response to a call from the UK Alkan Society to respond to Charles- Valentin Alkan's Esquisses op. 63, using up offcuts from my substantive Concerto for Piano Solo composed as a homage to Alkan in the year of his bicentenary, 2013 (published in 2015 and available from Composers Edition, ce-bi1cfsp1). Three out of the four pieces came about in this way, refracting Alkan’s own interest in the imitation of sounds variously natural (birdsong), human-made (bells) and specifically musical (eg orchestral instruments on the piano). The remaining piece grows from a transcription of Alkan’s sketch for a string quartet. Placed first, it provides a bedrock of echt Alkan on which my own flights of fancy are built.
1. Fragment de quatour
2. Oiseaux tristes et joyeux
3. Extrait de concerto
4. Les cloches
Fragment de quatour
This piece takes a transcription of Alkan’s tantalising opening for a projected string quartet in C minor as a starting point, then leads it in a progressively different direction…
Oiseaux tristes et joyeux
This piece references the trajectory from Rameau’s ‘Rappel des oiseaux’ to Messiaen’s Petites esquisses d’oiseaux via Ravel and Alkan, whose op. 63 Esquisses certainly fall within this space of French pianism. In the inimitable words of Richard Gorer: ‘he stands like some musical pithecanthropus as a link between the clavecinistes, and the impressionists of the early years of the twentieth century’.
Extrait de concerto
A nod at Alkan’s ‘Tutti de Concerto’, op.63 no 15, within a different stylistic frame of reference, with a wink at the British complexity school along the way.
Les cloches
A very different take on bell sounds to Alkan’s op.63 no 4, with a side nod at the kind of colour and keyboard ‘orchestration’ found in the piano music of Debussy (as well as Alkan). A slight echo, too, of the implacable mysticism of the latter’s final unnumbered piece from Op. 63, ‘Laus Deo’.

Output mediaMusic score
Sustainable Development Goals3 Good health and well-being
Middlesex University ThemeCreativity, Culture & Enterprise
Research GroupMusic group
LanguageEnglish
Publisher or commissioning bodyThe Alkan Society/Composers Edition
First publicly available date
PrintApr 2020
Publication process dates
Deposited02 May 2023
Output statusPublished
Web address (URL)https://composersedition.com/brian-inglis-4-esquisses/
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