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Night Aria

Orchestration: 1+picc.1+ca.1+bcl.1+cbn/2.2/1perc/hp/str.

Duration: 2 mins 


Composer's Note

This short nocturne imagines a lone figure being surrounded by the sounds of the night.  The figure is represented musically by a melody which runs throughout the course of the piece; usually played by the solo oboe or solo violin.  This melody is continuously punctuated by flurries of sound from the rest of the orchestra, representing the figure's increasing awareness of the night around him.  These orchestral interjections are gradually elongated until they become a constant musical texture, hiding the aforementioned melody, and representing the figure's complete immersion in the night.  In the last section of the music, I imagined the figure returning to his thoughts, and the sounds of the night withdraw, leaving us with the sparsely accompanied solo oboe once again.

Following its premiere by the Edinburgh Incidental Orchestra (who commissioned the work), Night Aria was workshopped under the supervision of composer, James MacMillan, by the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra conducted by Maxime Tortelier.

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