Universal Edition - David Sawer – Cat's-eye

David Sawer

Future Performances

09.05.2015, Birmingham (GB)


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David Sawer

Work Details

Year of composition: 1986
Scored for: for chamber ensemble
Composer: David Sawer
Instrumentation: cl(2+bass-cl), tpt, tbn, hp, pno, vla(1), vc(1)
Instrumentation details: 1st clarinet in Bb (+bass cl(Bb)); 2nd clarinet in Bb (+bass cl (Bb)); trumpet in Bb; trombone; harp; piano; viola; violoncello
Commissioned by: Commissioned by MusICA
Duration: 25′
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Audio Excerpt


World Première

Location: ICA London / Great Britain
Date: 20.07.1986
Orchestra: Lontano
Conductor: Odaline de la Martinez

Work Introduction

The fantascope, a projector designed by E. G. Robertson (Paris 1798) brought the optical tricks of the magic lanterns to their most spectacular; his evenings of fantasmagoria shocked audiences with fantastic images of spirits and demons.

A simple device within the fantascope, called “l’oeil-de-chat”, hence my title, caused these images to appear and disappear: as the eye closed, the source of light was extinguished; as it opened, it was increased - this could happen both fast and slowly. The whole contraption was mounted on wheels, allowing the projected image to grow larger or smaller as it moved away from or towards the screen. I can imagine the thing was not averse to breaking down.”

David Sawer

4 Ensembles that have played this work: