Sauchiehall

for orchestra

Oliver Iredale Searle

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Composer Oliver Iredale Searle
Year of Composition 2015
Duration ca.8'
Instrumentation Orchestra
Forces Picc, 2Fl, 2Ob, CA, 2Cl, BCl, 2Bsn, Cbsn, 4Hn, 2Tpt, 2Tbn, BTbn, Tba, 2Perc, Strings
Categories (all composers) , , ,
Catalogue ID ce-os1s1

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I moved to Glasgow in 2001, and since then, have witnessed the music scene flourish, and encountered a certain amount of backtracking and positive comments about the city from those who might have once questioned its outward image. I never expected to end up living here, but am continually amazed at the way in which it has fostered an ever-growing community of artists and musicians, who are proud to call this city their home.

Sauchiehall Street was always a mythical place when I was young, alive with stories of nights out and goings-on, delivered to me by older people on return to my home town. I remember on occasion passing through Glasgow (on a bus back from taking part in a sporting event when I was a young teenager), and looking out of the window in awe (and with some trepidation) at Sauchiehall Street on a Saturday night. The street has obviously had various heydays, high points and low points, but still seems to be a watchword for the city itself, regardless of its fortunes. It has an amazing history of events and the steady stream of people that have frequented it over time (and continue to do so) have left their mark in many ways.

This piece is a homage to the music of Sauchiehall Street and the RSNO. It is constructed from a number of musical references, which includes the following:

– A Reel melody (a reference to Scottish traditional music)
– A fragment of a song by Gustav Holst (The Thought; a homage to Holst, who used to play in the orchestra)
– A brass fanfare, based on the Hallelujah Chorus (the first piece of music performed by the orchestra)
– A rock drum rhythm and accompanying bass-line (a homage to the amount of rock and metal bands I have seen performing live in Glasgow)
– 1930s dance-band material (a reference to the number of dance halls and cinemas on Sauchiehall Street).
– A hymn tune (a reference to the now-gone churches that are a sadly lost part of Glasgow’s heritage)
– A Buddhist melody (there is a Buddhist centre on Sauchiehall Street, which I have walked past for many years!)
– Orchestration in the style of Copland’s Corral Nocturne (from Rodeo; he conducted the work with the orchestra in 1964)
– The ‘Humming Chorus’ from Madam Butterfly (the first production by Scottish Opera, which the orchestra performed in)