Duration: 5 mins
Escapades opens with a calm horn duet, following which the rest of the orchestra "awakens" in small groups of instruments. With the introduction of these new colours the music becomes gradually more animated, building towards a series of playful episodes that form the main body of the piece. These episodes are highly rhythmic, and sometimes even dance-like in nature, and many of them are underpinned by a sort of "walking bass line" which, to my mind at least, lends the music a strutting, slightly impertinent edge.
The structure of the piece sometimes returns us, as listeners, to ideas we have heard before, and at other times drags us off abruptly in new directions, and it was this combination of the familiar and the unfamiliar that suggested to me a form of adventure or journey, hence the work's title. Rather than suggest a specific narrative for the music though, I would prefer for each listener to let the piece conjure up "escapades" that are personal to her or to him.
Escapades was commissioned by the Mahler Players with the support of the Garrick Charitable Trust and was given its first performances by this ensemble, conducted by Tomas Leakey.