PHILIP GRANGE (b.1956): Shifting Thresholds for Flute, Clarinet, Violin, Cello, Piano and Percussion, Piano Trio “Homage to Chagall”, Elegy for Solo Cello, Tiers of Time for Piano and String Trio.
Catalogue Number: 10V054
Reference: MSV 28591
Description: As with our previous offerings (04J120, 07R064), these works draw on extramusical inspirations, vividly but not programmatically (that would be tricky in the case of Beckett, whose "Malone Dies" provides the unstable stream of consciousness for the work) illustrating them in a flexible, crystalline idiom. In Beckett's novel, a character muses on stories to keep himself entertained while he is dying. Grange responds to this with a half-hour discontinuous stream of narratives, their textural density and level of activity varying, the title (from a Beckett poem) reflected in a certain instability, the music sometimes seeming to teeter on less than solid ground. Grange pays tribute to the aesthetics of Marc Chagall in his four-movement Trio, with thematic cross-references between movements mirroring the artist's use of similar motifs in different canvases. The piece is a study in changing, colorful textures and coherent motivic development, with a sense of bold shapes in buoyant motion typical of Chagall. Tiers of Time is an homage to a fellow composer, John Casken, and is based on a section of Casken's own Piano Quartet. Both composers had lived in a mountainous area of the north of England, and the title refers to geological strata, which also suggests the origin of the stratification of lines in the music. Gemini; Ian Mitchell.