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Martin Lodge: Cassation - A...Embedded audio
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The origin of the term ‘cassation’ is clouded with speculation, but around the time of Haydn and Mozart it was used more or less interchangeably with ‘serenade’ and ‘divertimento’. Generally such pieces were for orchestra, and written in an entertaining, less serious vein. The present work for chamber orchestra also is of a lighter character. It has an outdoor flavour, and features uncomplicated, open harmonies, jaunty rhythms and clear melodies.
The first movement has an energetic, raucous character rising out of the resonant sounds of the open strings of violins and violas. Sections of uneven rhythm alternate with simpler passages, as if one were strolling briskly through streets in which various sorts of different activity were going on. The ‘Nocturne’ is pensive and nostalgic. Expressive lines for solo horn and cello rise out of a gentle, rather static atmosphere. The third movement is a short and capricious treatment of the opening oboe theme from Alban Berg’s opera Wozzeck. This scrap of tune – playful but loaded - is introduced upside down here, and is restored to its original shape at the end after some free-wheeling excursions.
Cassation was Martin Lodge’s first orchestral work. It was commissioned by the Wellington Chamber Orchestra, which gave the premiere in 1990.
three sections: In the open; Nocturne; Caprice
02 Sep 2008: 2008 NZSO-SOUNZ Readings 2
Performed by the Wellington Chamber Orchestra conducted by Peter Van Drimmelen