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Richard Ayres

Frankfurt Radio Symphony Orchestra
Wim Timmermans horn
ASKO Ensemble - Marco Blaauw trumpet
MusikFabrik - Roland Kluttig conductor

NMC D162

D147 Cover
  • Ayres studied composition, electronic music, and trombone.   He moved to Den Haag to study with Louis Andriessen on the postgraduate composition course at the Royal Conservatoire.   He settled in Holland permanently and since 2006 has taught at the Amsterdam Conservatoire.

  • Ayres' postmodern style is eceletic, comic and theatrical.   When asked what inspires his writing he replied '… consonance, dissonance, melody, texture, elephants, clouds, snowballs, anything, from any time and whenever it is needed - bound only by the borders of my limited imagination'!

  • Ayres has won many awards, including the International Gaudeamus Prize for composition in 1994 during the Gaudeamus Music week and the Vermeulen Prize in 2003, the highest award for composition in the Netherlands.

  • This disc features two of Richard Ayres' ongoing series of 'NONcerti' - a form he has invented which, he explains, is both an 'un-concerto' and an 'uncertain concerto'.   Rather than the traditional virtuoso soloist 'battling' with an orchestra, he explores ideas of collaboration, failure, imperfection and mortality, but expressed in a riot of melody, quotations and invented sounds.

    His works often tell or illustrate a story, as the track-titles show, below: in No. 36 the solo horn player runs up and down ramps as part of its Alpine scenario, while No.37b, although not a NONcerto by name, draws on the same narrative ideas.

    Based in Ayres's Cornish-Swiss fantasy world the later stages of the first movement sees the two percussionists try some carpentry, one with a saw, the other with a hammer, as if they are trying to nail the piece together.

    No. 37b for Orchestra     23'00
    01. I Alfred Wallis observes Saint Joseph at work and at leisure.     7'34
    02. II Sjonnie Kurzak (a broken soul) ascends.     4'08
    03. III but when Gippy Dixon opened his eyes, the procession was still continuing …     4'08
    04. IV Exit     7'10
          (Frankfurt Radio Symphony Orchestra/ Roland Kluttig, conductor)

    No. 36: NONcerto for Horn     21'52
    05. Valentine Tregashian dreams… of the Swiss Girl     6'02
    06. Valentine Tregashian dreams… of Jan Snaegl and the Pearly Gates     5'36
    07.-17. Anna Filipiova goes on a journey…     10'14
          (Wim Timmermans, horn, ASKO Ensemble, Roland Kluttig, conductor)

    No. 31: NONcerto for Trumpet     18'37
    18. Burlesque (with long scale)     5'37
    19. Elegy for Alfred Schnittke     4'26
    20. Rhapsody     8'34
          (Marco Blaauw, trumpet, musikFabrik, Roland Kluttig, conductor)

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