Composers Edition is delighted to bring news of a new orchestral work in progress by Anthony Payne. No stranger to large-scale composition, Payne has a particular penchant for single-movement symphonic tone-poems, four of which were BBC commissions.
Often inspired by natural forces and natural science, Payne’s compositional process usually starts in one of two ways as he discussed with Composers Edition’s Dan Goren. “Sometime’s I’ll start with a structure, as with Time’s Arrow (1990) or else a single bright idea, a sound”. This latest work falls into the latter category, and began life at the beginning of 2020 when “the idea just dropped into my head”, “a long slow drift of harmony, like a fell landscape above which protrude distant objects, hills, clouds”. Once started “It’s then pure music – supplying it’s own rules”.
Payne is perhaps most widely known for his orchestrations and completions of early 20th Century English masters such as Elgar, Delius and Vaughan Williams and their harmonic driven influence is certainly important, but asked how he relates to them in his own compositional practice he says “I don’t think about them. I might have done in the early days. I’m too fascinated by what’s going on musically at the time”. As a result his works bring into play a host of other approaches including a fascination with formal applications of timbre – pure sound. It is through this marriage of elements that he has forged such a distinctive compositional path, garnering international recognition on chamber as well as orchestral stages.
So, where’s the current work heading? “I’m not sure! I love the idea of pieces with no beginning and no end. It’s the journey that counts!”
Composers Edition looks forward publishing the new as yet untitled orchestral work and would love to hear from anyone interested in making a mark with its first performance.
Also in progress is a new 6 minute work for viola titled ‘Leap, Skip and Chase the Song’ which has been commissioned alongside numerous other CE composers for the Royal Academy 200 Pieces celebrating the bi-centenary of the conservatoire. We look forward to publishing this soon.
We’re also working on the publication of three older as yet unpublished BBC orchestral commissions:
Visions and Journeys (2002), premiered BBC Proms, BBCSO & Sir Andrew Davis.
Of Land, Sea and Sky (2015-16), premiered BBC Proms, BBCSO & Sir Andrew Davis.
The Period of Cosmographie (2010), premiered Bridgewater Hall, Manchester, BBC Philharmonic & Yan Pascal Tortelier.
Tags: Anthony Payne, BBC Philharmonic Orchestra, BBC Symphony Orchestra, Leap Skip and Chase the Song, Of Land Sea and Sky, Royal Academy of Music, Sir Andrew Davis, The Period of Cosmographie, Visions and Journeys, Yan Pascal Tortelier