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Ian Wilson: An Angel Serves a Small Breakfast

  • Concerto no. 2 (1999)
  • for violin and orchestra
  • 0 0 0 0 - 4 2 3 0 - perc(2), hp, str
  • Duration: 19’
  • Soloists:
    violin
  • Instrumentation details:
    1st horn in F
    2nd horn in F
    3rd horn in F
    4th horn in F
    1st trumpet in D
    2nd trumpet in D
    1st trombone
    2nd trombone
    bass trombone
    1st percussion
    2nd percussion
    harp
    violin I
    violin II
    viola
    violoncello
    contrabass
  • Composer: Ian Wilson
  • Dedication: for Rebecca Hirsch

Work introduction

Ian Wilson’s latest CD, Winter finding, has just been released on the RTÉ Lyric fm label. Gerhard Markson and David Porcelijn conduct the RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra. The works included are an angel serves a small breakfast (1999, violin soloist Rebecca Hirsch), Man-o’-War (2001), Licht/ung (2004) and Winter finding (2004/5).

Andrew Clements writes in the Guardian, “After recent discs of Ian Wilson's string quartets and works for string orchestra, this strikingly well?performed collection shows the northern Irishman working with a much more vivid instrumental palette. ... Perhaps the most impressive work, though, is the earliest – the violin concerto from 1999, in which the irrepressibly lyrical solo line unravels like a bundle of threads as it weaves through the orchestral textures; the idea is wonderfully sustained and generates music of great beauty.”

In the Irish Times, Michael Dervan writes that Man-o'-War “unleashes orchestral violence with the abandon of Edgard Varèse” and praises the “strong performances from the NSO”.

Audiosamples

The complete perusal score (PDF-preview)

World première

Location:
Cheltenham (GB)
Date:
11.07.2000
Orchestra:
BBC National Orchestra of Wales
Conductor:
Paul Daniel
Main soloists:
Rebecca Hirsch, vln

Press reviews

“…violinist Rebecca Hirsch and the BBC National Orchestra of Wales introduced something that would certainly stand repetition: Ian Wilson’s compact, one-movement violin concerto, ‘An angel serves a small breakfast’. The title comes from a painting by Paul Klee. Perhaps comparison with Klee’s whimsical imagery night add new dimensions of meaning; perhaps not. But this exquisitely lyrical and remarkably single-minded piece came over well enough on its own terms. Troubled, yet at the same time beguiling, Wilson’s concerto occasionally echoed the long-breathed, sweet-and-sour melodic writing of Berg, and perhaps Szymanowski, but it never sounded derivative or unsure of itself.”

(The Guardian, 20 July 2000)

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