Universal Edition - Ian Wilson – Abyssal

Ian Wilson

Ian Wilson

Year of composition: 2000
Scored for: for bass clarinet and ensemble
Composer: Ian Wilson
Soloists: bass clarinet in Bb
Instrumentation: fl, cl(Bb), hp, guit, vln, cb
Instrumentation details:
flute (+picc
alto fl)
clarinet in Bb (+cl(Eb))
Duration: 20′
Dedication: for Harry Sparnaay
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Audio Excerpt


World Première

Location: Project Arts Centre Dublin / Republic of Ireland
Date: 21.12.2000
Orchestra: Crash Ensemble
Conductor: David Brophy
Main Soloists: Harry Sparnaay, bass cl


“Ian Wilson’s ‘Abyssal’ may have been often light in texture and spare of notes, but it was also overwhelmingly heavy of message. Its spaced-out, falling lines seem to tell not only of sighing and of keening, but also of burdens not quite lifted, agonies not quite suppressed. Stark and emotionally direct in its exploitation of quarter tones, it represents a recent and extremely impressive dark turn in the composer’s output.”

(The Irish Times, 28 December 2000. Harry Sparnaay, bass clarinet, Crash Ensemble/David Brophy)

1 Ensemble that has played this work:

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