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Ruby

Ruby

Concerto for percussion and orchestra


  • Instrumentation: percussion and orchestra
  • Edition: performance material

 
Description

Ruby forms the final part of a triptych of works written for the percussionist Colin Currie.  The first, Parallel Lines, for percussion and piano, was written in 1999, followed by Snowblind, for percussion and strings, written in 2002.  While the first two works are almost exclusively for tuned percussion, Ruby incorporates an un-tuned kit set-up, but the emphasis is still on the tuned instruments.  In fact, the contrast between the rhythmic and colouristic properties of the un-tuned and the melodic and harmonic possibilities of the tuned is one of the underlying ‘arguments’ of the work.  So, along with the familiar muscular sonorities of the drum kit, Colin has material with which he can engage with the orchestra’s harmonic framework in a lyrical manner.  After all, this is what one might expect from a concerto for any other instrument, so why not for percussion?  One might also expect some theatrical leaping from one instrument set to another and, while there are some quick changes for Colin to make, these are for purely musical reasons and not meant as some hackneyed dramatic effect.

Ruby is in a conventional three-movement form (basically: medium - slow - fast) but one where the three sections form an overall arc shape.  The first two movements have two tempos each, which are incorporated (along with the material) into the third, with the final passage being in the same tempo as the opening.  Almost all the material of the work is derived from the soloist’s two ostinatos and the trumpet figure and string chords from the beginning of the first movement.  There are prominent roles for the first flute, trumpet, piano and double bass, which, along with Colin, form a ‘concerto grosso’ group in the third movement. The vast majority of my titles are borrowed from other sources and are completely abstract (as is the majority of the music).  Ruby was a joke that stuck, and anybody with a rudimentary grasp of rhyming slang can work it out!  The work is dedicated to Colin Currie.  As a critic once remarked, Colin is ‘a musician first, percussionist second’ and for those of us all too familiar with derogatory ‘drummer’ jokes, this is both high and well deserved praise.

Joe Duddell

Details
Auftragswerk : Commissioned by the BBC
Content text: I Flowing
II ♩ =ca. 42
III ♩ =ca. 112
Performance duration: 25'0"
Publisher: Schott Music Ltd., London
Uraufführung : 25. Juli 2003 London, Royal Albert Hall (UK) BBC Proms 2003 · Colin Currie, percussion · Dirigent: Marin Alsop · Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra
Year of composition: 2002-2003
instrumentation: pic.2.2.ca.0.2Acl.bcl.2.cbsn-4.3.2.btbn.1-timp-hp.pno-str-
Solo percussion: vibraphone, marimba, crotales, 7 tuned gongs, drum kit
Performances
Conductor: Dr. Ryan Dudenbostel
Orchestra: Western Washington University Symphony Orchestra
2017-03-06 | Bellingham, WA (United States of America), Western Washington University Performing Arts Center Concert Hall
Conductor: Joshua Mather
Orchestra: Lakeview Orchestra, Inc.
2014-11-11 | Chicago, IL (United States of America), Nettelhorst School Auditorium
Conductor: Kevin Field
Orchestra: Malaysian Philharmonic Youth Orchestra
2014-06-13 | Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia)
Conductor: Tim Johnson
Orchestra: Eton College Orchestra
2014-03-25 | Windsor (United Kingdom), Eton College
Orchestra: Stuttgarter Philharmoniker
2013-03-28 | Stuttgart (Germany), Liederhalle, Beethoven-Saal
Conductor: Jerry Hou
Orchestra: University of Rochester
2013-03-26 | Rochester, NY (United States of America), Kilbourn Hall
Orchestra: Eastman School of Music Orchestra
2013-02-23 | Rochester, NY (United States of America), Kilbourn Hall — 20:00 | national Premiere
Conductor: Sian Edwards
Orchestra: RCM Symphony Orchestra
2011-01-26 | London (United Kingdom), Amaryllis Fleming Concert Hall, Royal College of Music — 19.30 h
Conductor: Clark Rundell
Orchestra: BBC Philharmonic Orchestra
2009-11-27 | Salford (United Kingdom), Salford University
Conductor: Clark Rundell
Orchestra: BBC Philharmonic
2009-11-25 | Manchester (United Kingdom), BBC Studio 7, Oxford Road — 19.30 h
Conductor: Paul Mann
Orchestra: Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra
2008-05-04 | Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia), Dewan Filharmonic Petronas
Conductor: Paul Mann
Orchestra: Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra
2008-05-03 | Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia), Dewan Filharmonic Petronas | national Premiere
Conductor: Leigh O’Hara
Orchestra: JAGS Symphony Orchestra
2007-07-03 | London (United Kingdom), St. Barnabas Church — 19.30 h
Conductor: Paul Mann
Orchestra: Auckland Philharmonia
2005-06-30 | Auckland (New Zealand), Aotea Centre | national Premiere
Conductor: Christopher Adey
Orchestra: Wells Cathedral School Orchestra
2005-03-23 | London (United Kingdom), Royal Academy of Music, Duke\'s Hall
Conductor: Christian Arming
Orchestra: Luzerner Sinfonieorchester
2004-05-27 | Luzern (Switzerland), Konzertsaal | national Premiere
Conductor: Ilan Volkov
Orchestra: BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra
2004-05-02 | Edinburgh (United Kingdom), Usher Hall
Conductor: Marin Alsop
Orchestra: Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra
2003-07-25 | London (United Kingdom), Royal Albert Hall — 19.30 h | World Premiere

Ruby forms the final part of a triptych of works written for the percussionist Colin Currie.  The first, Parallel Lines, for percussion and piano, was written in 1999, followed by Snowblind, for percussion and strings, written in 2002.  While the first two works are almost exclusively for tuned percussion, Ruby incorporates an un-tuned kit set-up, but the emphasis is still on the tuned instruments.  In fact, the contrast between the rhythmic and colouristic properties of the un-tuned and the melodic and harmonic possibilities of the tuned is one of the underlying ‘arguments’ of the work.  So, along with the familiar muscular sonorities of the drum kit, Colin has material with which he can engage with the orchestra’s harmonic framework in a lyrical manner.  After all, this is what one might expect from a concerto for any other instrument, so why not for percussion?  One might also expect some theatrical leaping from one instrument set to another and, while there are some quick changes for Colin to make, these are for purely musical reasons and not meant as some hackneyed dramatic effect.

Ruby is in a conventional three-movement form (basically: medium - slow - fast) but one where the three sections form an overall arc shape.  The first two movements have two tempos each, which are incorporated (along with the material) into the third, with the final passage being in the same tempo as the opening.  Almost all the material of the work is derived from the soloist’s two ostinatos and the trumpet figure and string chords from the beginning of the first movement.  There are prominent roles for the first flute, trumpet, piano and double bass, which, along with Colin, form a ‘concerto grosso’ group in the third movement. The vast majority of my titles are borrowed from other sources and are completely abstract (as is the majority of the music).  Ruby was a joke that stuck, and anybody with a rudimentary grasp of rhyming slang can work it out!  The work is dedicated to Colin Currie.  As a critic once remarked, Colin is ‘a musician first, percussionist second’ and for those of us all too familiar with derogatory ‘drummer’ jokes, this is both high and well deserved praise.

Joe Duddell

Auftragswerk : Commissioned by the BBC
Content text: I Flowing
II ♩ =ca. 42
III ♩ =ca. 112
Performance duration: 25'0"
Publisher: Schott Music Ltd., London
Uraufführung : 25. Juli 2003 London, Royal Albert Hall (UK) BBC Proms 2003 · Colin Currie, percussion · Dirigent: Marin Alsop · Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra
Year of composition: 2002-2003
instrumentation: pic.2.2.ca.0.2Acl.bcl.2.cbsn-4.3.2.btbn.1-timp-hp.pno-str-
Solo percussion: vibraphone, marimba, crotales, 7 tuned gongs, drum kit
Conductor: Dr. Ryan Dudenbostel
Orchestra: Western Washington University Symphony Orchestra
2017-03-06 | Bellingham, WA (United States of America), Western Washington University Performing Arts Center Concert Hall
Conductor: Joshua Mather
Orchestra: Lakeview Orchestra, Inc.
2014-11-11 | Chicago, IL (United States of America), Nettelhorst School Auditorium
Conductor: Kevin Field
Orchestra: Malaysian Philharmonic Youth Orchestra
2014-06-13 | Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia)
Conductor: Tim Johnson
Orchestra: Eton College Orchestra
2014-03-25 | Windsor (United Kingdom), Eton College
Orchestra: Stuttgarter Philharmoniker
2013-03-28 | Stuttgart (Germany), Liederhalle, Beethoven-Saal
Conductor: Jerry Hou
Orchestra: University of Rochester
2013-03-26 | Rochester, NY (United States of America), Kilbourn Hall
Orchestra: Eastman School of Music Orchestra
2013-02-23 | Rochester, NY (United States of America), Kilbourn Hall — 20:00 | national Premiere
Conductor: Sian Edwards
Orchestra: RCM Symphony Orchestra
2011-01-26 | London (United Kingdom), Amaryllis Fleming Concert Hall, Royal College of Music — 19.30 h
Conductor: Clark Rundell
Orchestra: BBC Philharmonic Orchestra
2009-11-27 | Salford (United Kingdom), Salford University
Conductor: Clark Rundell
Orchestra: BBC Philharmonic
2009-11-25 | Manchester (United Kingdom), BBC Studio 7, Oxford Road — 19.30 h
Conductor: Paul Mann
Orchestra: Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra
2008-05-04 | Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia), Dewan Filharmonic Petronas
Conductor: Paul Mann
Orchestra: Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra
2008-05-03 | Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia), Dewan Filharmonic Petronas | national Premiere
Conductor: Leigh O’Hara
Orchestra: JAGS Symphony Orchestra
2007-07-03 | London (United Kingdom), St. Barnabas Church — 19.30 h
Conductor: Paul Mann
Orchestra: Auckland Philharmonia
2005-06-30 | Auckland (New Zealand), Aotea Centre | national Premiere
Conductor: Christopher Adey
Orchestra: Wells Cathedral School Orchestra
2005-03-23 | London (United Kingdom), Royal Academy of Music, Duke\'s Hall
Conductor: Christian Arming
Orchestra: Luzerner Sinfonieorchester
2004-05-27 | Luzern (Switzerland), Konzertsaal | national Premiere
Conductor: Ilan Volkov
Orchestra: BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra
2004-05-02 | Edinburgh (United Kingdom), Usher Hall
Conductor: Marin Alsop
Orchestra: Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra
2003-07-25 | London (United Kingdom), Royal Albert Hall — 19.30 h | World Premiere
Other Editions