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John Rimmer: Europa - AUDIOEmbedded audio
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In composing this concerto I recognise two contrasting musical cultures within the European artistic tradition. The Brass Band represents what I call a 'closed' musical system portrayed by its standardised instrumentation heard to great effect in its stirring marches, sonorous hymn playing, contest pieces and arrangements of popular and show music, while the orchestra with its dazzling array of many instrumental colours, its flexible instrumentation and its potential for pushing musical boundaries, represents an 'open' musical system. I wanted also to exploit the virtuosic capacity of the brass band as a concerto soloist and to celebrate through this work the unity and solidarity amongst brass musicians.
Europa is a one movement work in five main sections which alternate slow atmospheric music with a fast and rhythmic style. The latter is heard in the many rapid passages which switch from band to orchestra and vice versa. Notable also is the relationship between the band and the orchestra particularly in the cadenzas for the brass band followed by the orchestral brass.
I was spurred into composing this work after reading about Europa, one of the large moons of the planet Jupiter first seen by Galileo in 1610 and named after a goddess of Greek mythology. Such thoughts were instrumental in generating my first musical ideas, for instance the name 'Europa' is represented by a six note melody heard throughout the work. However, my initial thoughts about Europa receded as I explored and developed the musical material. 'Europa' was commissioned by the Auckland Philharmonia. The work was first performed by the Dalewool Auckland Brass and the Auckland Philharmonia conducted by Miguel Harth-Bedoya on 13 June 2002 in the Auckland Town Hall.
Written while John Rimmer was Composer in Residence with the Auckland Philharmonia.
One movement in five main sections