On the South Downs (2009)
For solo cello with chamber orchestra and choir
Duration: c. 15 min
First Performance Ė
3rd July 2009, St. Paulís Church, Chichester
Natalie Clein- solo cello; Chichester Pro Camerata,
The Chantry Quire
Commissioned by the 'Friends of
West Sussex Young Musicians'
For Natalie Clein
and the young musicians of West Sussex
symphonic poem aims to paint a sonic picture of the
beautiful South Downs, one of Sussexís proudest
landmarks. The gentle words of local poet Francis
William Bourdillon perfectly capture a dayís walking
on the Downs, and I have tried to recreate the
pastel colours of his poetry in the music. There are
three interlocking movements, performed without a
break. In the first movement the choir and solo
cello set the scene- rich harmonies and a melodious
solo, performed at walking pace. The solo guides the
music as if walking through the gentle hills. Nature
takes over in the second instrumental movement, with
flourishes in the wind section on the background of
continued rich harmonies, while the solo explores
some more decorated melodies. In the final movement
the chorale of the opening returns, this time the
choir is joined by the full orchestra and a counter
melody is woven into the orchestral texture to
dialogue with the solo cello.
On the South
Downs, was commissioned by the 'Friends of West
Sussex Young Musicians' and was first performed by
Natalie Clein and the Chichester Pro Camerata on
Friday 3rd July 2009 at St Paulís, Churchside,
On the South Downs
Francis William Bourdillon (1852-1921) Light falls
On link and laine,
After the burning
And the bright scene,
Blue, gold and
Is blotted out in grey.
Not so will
The glowing heart
With sunny hours gone
On cliff and hill
There lingers still
A light that cannot die.
Like a gold crown
Gorse decks the Down,
All sapphire lies the sea;
And incense sweet
Springs as our feet
light the thymy lea.
Fade, vision bright!
Fall rain, fall night!
Forget, grey world, thy
For us, nor thee,
Can all days be
though this had not been!
Tabakova- On the South Downs (2009)
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