KENNETH HESKETH (b.1968): A Rhyme for the Season, Graven Image, At God speeded summer's end (Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra; Christoph-Mathias Mueller), Ein Lichtspiel for 17 Players, Wunderkammer(konzert) for 13 Players (Ensemble 10/10; Clark Rundell).
Catalogue Number: 06O086
Description: A common characteristic of these otherwise divergent works is the constant inventiveness of Hesketh's sonic palette, creating the impression of a kaleidoscopic display of glittering musical objects, made buoyant by a restless energy. Extramusical impulses drive several of these pieces; Rhyme plays with musical analogs of rhythmic structures, tumultuously presented in a lively concert-opening overture. Ein Lichtspiel is a musical response to Moholy-Nagy's abstract film of the play of light from a kinetic sculpture of his own making. The music follow the 'choreography' of the film, with motifs - chords, melodic fragments, bursts of sonic texture - placed in motion according to repeating or erratic rhythmic structures. Graven Image is an orchestral evocation of the Mediæval Memento mori; a complex tapestry of sonic images, brooding and atmospheric, with something of recent Birtwistle in its overall use of dense yet transparent textures. A Wunderkammer was a kind of early museum, a collection of objects intended to amaze the viewer. Hesketh's piece s a kind of chamber concerto for orchestra, assembling complex textures from the juxtaposition and polyphonic interaction of virtuosic soloistic material, representing ideas related to the arcane references in the movements' subtitles. At God speeded summer's end is a line of Dylan Thomas, and the composer quotes a description of the poet's style: "the cunning complexity of meters, the chime of consonants and pealing vowels" which nicely describes this piece, and serves as a general comment on Hesketh's exuberant idiom.