Ian Wilson: Rich Harbour

Ian Wilson Rich Harbour
Rich Harbour

Ian Wilson: Rich Harbour

Year of composition:
Scored for:
for organ and orchestra
Ian Wilson
3 2 2 2 - 4 2 3 1 - perc(3), hp, str
Commissioned by RTÉ / Arts Council of Ireland / National Concert Hall, Dublin
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Work introduction

The opportunities for writing substantial works for large forces are few, so when I received the commission to write an organ concerto, I decided that this would, for me, be a major work. The subject of the piece, a meditation on death and what lies beyond, was inspired by a little lakeside cemetary in Co. Fermanagh called Caldragh.

There are three main musical types present which are interlinked and developed as the piece progresses: One is an aggressive, showy and striving music, one is darker and more despairing, and the third is more positive and optimistic. As a whole, the concerto is a working-through of my own thoughts on the subject; but it must also be acceptable purely on a musical basis, and so I have endeavoured to make it very colourful with a strong sense of argument and direction. There are also a number of calmer interludes in Rich Harbour which draw back from the central theme in order to give a sense of space – rather like looking at the lake, instead of the gravestones at Caldragh. Cast in a single movement, the work lasts around half an hour, and the title is 'borrowed' from a Paul Klee painting.

Ian Wilson

World première

National SO of Ireland
Niklas Willén

Other works

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