Word-Chimes in the Wind

suite for wind quintet

Anthony Gilbert

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suite for wind quintet

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Composer Anthony Gilbert
Year of Composition 2015
Duration ca.18'


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Student Difficulty

Categories (all composers) ,
Catalogue ID ce-ag3wcitw1


All pieces but the central one, TrebleBob, are autobiographical in the sense that their phraseology is derived from speech-patterns noted in various social situations throughout the composer’s life in Paris, London and Manchester: words whose content obviously made a strong emotional impact on their hearer – if not always positively. TrebleBob itself is the composer’s response to John Clare’s poetic response to sounds around him in his younger years: church bells in and around Helpston, near Peterborough, and the imagined voice of Clare’s early love, Mary. Soliloquies echoes the composite voice of a conference in 2006 where important matters were discussed to an almost emotional level; Doubles is the composer’s recollection of lunchtime on the first day he arrived in Paris in 1948, to be greeted excitedly not only by the hosting family, but also by customers in the host’s shop, which adjoined the dining-room. inQuad recollects the feeling of being uncomfortably encircled by travellers and their mobile-phone conversations on a particular northbound train-journey in 2006, and Quintessence recalls an intense personal discussion on a District Line train in 1951, between the composer’s close friend and her own close friend.

All movements were in fact written separately, for in some cases different instrumental combinations, between 1995 and 2007, and reassembled in 2008 in the present form. For this reason they may be performed in smaller groupings, in the order given, around TrebleBob. The music of all is related to the sound or linear music of church-bell change-ringing – a lifelong fascination for the composer.