Graham Waterhouse
composer and cellist

Graham Waterhouse
Komponist und Cellist

Graham Waterhouse, 2010
Did you know …
… that celebrating his fiftieth birthday, Graham Waterhouse played the cello in his compositions for string quartet, some with a solo instrument?"? (22 March 2015) Meine Musik zielt darauf ab,
das Vorstellungsvermögen,
die Könnerschaft und
die Sensibilität
ihrer Spieler anzusprechen.

… that Mouvements d'Harmonie for wind nonet was composed by Graham Waterhouse for the 60th birthday of his father, the bassoonist William Waterhouse? (28 August 2014) … that pianist Miku Nishimoto-Neubert, a prize winner of the Leipzig Bach Competition, has been described as "moving between capricious high spirits and a meditative inwardness"?
(27 October 2013) … that composer Graham Waterhouse was the cellist in a performance of his string trio Zeichenstaub at his former school, playing the U.K. premiere with two members of the Münchner Philharmoniker? (19 April 2013) … that Graham Waterhouse composed the piano trio Bei Nacht (At Night), inspired by a Kandinsky oil painting entitled ''Nacht''? (Wikipedia recent additions 15 September 2012)

… that the composition by Graham Waterhouse Der Handschuh (The Glove) for cello and speaking voice, after Schiller's ballad Der Handschuh, is designed for one performer?"
(20 November 2011) … that in a concert "Hommage à Liszt" at Munich's Gasteig, pianist Valentina Babor played chamber music by Franz Liszt and Graham Waterhouse scored for piano solo up to piano and string quartet? (6 November 2011)

… that in one concert, bassoonist Lyndon Watts premiered Bernd Redmann's Migrant, played Jörg Duda's first Finnish Quartet, which he had commissioned, and the Bassoon Quintet of Graham Waterhouse, which he had premiered? (20 April 2011)

… that … that Epitaphium, composed for string trio by Graham Waterhouse, is performed today in Wigmore Hall in a memorial concert for his father, the bassoonist William Waterhouse?(16 April 2011)


… that the Piccolo Quintet, composed by Graham Waterhouse, was performed in a lecture concert of the first Sergiu Celibidache Festival in Munich? (2 November 2010)

… that the flute arrangement of the trio composition Gestural Variations was premiered in Munich by the composer, Graham Waterhouse, and two other composers?
(Wikipedia recent additions 21 April 2010)

… that Chieftain's Salute, composed by Graham Waterhouse, is scored for Great Highland Bagpipe and string orchestra? (22 August 2009)




Aktuelle Werke

2015

Incantations Concerto da camera für Klavier und Ensemble
Canto 1 - Moderato e Maestoso
Canto 2 - Allegro mosso
Canto 3 - Adagio
Canto 4 - Vivace assai subito
Canto 5 - Poco più mosso
UA 26. März 2015, Birmingham

2014

Moonbass für Sopran und Cello
1. He Lune! von Christine de Pisan (1365-1430)
2. Man in the Moon, anon, übertragen aus Altenglisch von J. Draycott
3. Der Tunkel Sterne, von Der von Kürenberg (ca. 1150 - 1170)
UA 28. November 2014, Oldenburg
de: Das Werk vertont drei mittelalterliche Gedichte, in französischer, englischer und deutscher Sprache. Die Singstimme wird nur von einem Cello begleitet, das in traditionellem und neuen Spieltechniken die Empfindungen und Launen der Texten belebt.
en: The work is a setting of three medieval poems, in French, English and German. The voice is accompanied by a lone cello which brings to life the moods of the texts in both traditional and new techniques.

Yellow Dog Dingo für Violine und Cello
UA 19. Oktober 2014, Hombroich
en: Yellow Dog Dingo is named after one of those near-legendary creatures from the "Just So Stories" by Rudyard Kipling. The animal is a yellowy-coloured Australian canine, living in the wild prairies, scavenging from other animals, like hyenas. Within this Duo for Violin and Cello can be found hints of Didgeridu sounds, as well as suggestions of barking and howling especially at the beginning and at the end.

Skylla and Charibdis, Klavierquartett
UA 2. November 2014, München
en: Skylla and Charibdis refer to the two sea monsters which, as reported by Homer in the Odyssey, lived opposite each other, probably on he straits of Messina, though this is not explicitly stated, and, with their long and treachorous tentacles, devoured any errant sailors or sea travellers that ventured too close. Odysseus lost six of his crew as he passed through the straits.
The piece is in four movements which are played without a break. They do not refer specifically to the protagonists or to events connected with the famous legend, but rather play on the abstract images conjoured up in the composer's mind during the writing, i.e. to his own subjective reaction to thoughts concerning the saga.
The opening reflects on the deep channel, the swirling currents within the straights. This sea Picture is interrupted by a fast movement of threatening and aggressive character, characterized by abrupt dynamic and metric changes. After a hushed, hymn-like interlude, based upon overlapping melodic lines, mirroring each other like primitive tribal chants there follows a 9/8 conclusion in which the stringed instrumentalists seem to battle it out with the piano for supremacy - though no clear winner emerges.
As with other recent works, the composer is interested in the interface between traditional chamber music and the avant-garde movements. This reflects the composer's own background and experience, which embraces both the classical repertoire and, largely through his association with a number of New Music ensembles, avant garde means of expression. On the one hand he treasures the virtues of fine chamber music writing and playing, with its emphasis on dialogue, on action in balance with reaction and on the interplay between equal partners. On the other he likes to exploit "contemporary" compositional and instrumental techniques as a means of extending the palette of musical sounds and expression. Hence the use of devices such as bitonality, sul-ponticello, glissandi and barriolage, though always within the context of a coherent, through-composed musical structure.
de: Die Inspiration für das Werk war Homers Beschreibung von zwei Meerungeheuern, die auf den beden Seiten der Straße von Messina Seefahrer bedrohen. Odysseus verlor sechs seiner Gefährten in der Meerenge. Die Redewendung „zwischen Skylla und Charybdis“ steht für eine Situation, in der man sich zwischen zwei Gefahren befindet.
Das Stück ist in vier durchkomponierten Sätzen strukturiert. Der erste ist ein Bild der unheimlichen Meerenge mit Strudeln und Strömungen. Ein schneller Satz von bedrohlichem und aggressivem Charakter wird von abrupten dynamischen und metrischen Wechseln bestimmt. Auf ein Zwischenspiel mit sich überlagernden Gesängen folgt der Schluss im 9/8-Takt, in dem die Streicher mit dem Klavier um die Vorherrschaft streiten.
Der Komponist interessiert sich für die Schnittstelle zwischen traditioneller Kammermusik und den erweiterten Spieltechiken der Avantgarde. Er betrachtet Techniken wie wie sul-ponticello, Glissandi, Barriolage und verschiedene Tremolandi als erweiterte Möglichkeite des Ausdrucks.

Carpe diem, Festkantate für Soli, Kinderchor, Chor und Orchester
UA 1. Oktober 2014, München

Prolog (Orchester)
Wir streben (Chor und Bläser)
Kunst und Kenntnis (Unterstufen-Chor und Klavier)
Erziehung (Sprechchor und Percussion)
Doch es kann auch anders gehen (Sopran und Streichquartett)
Eines Kindes Schullaufbahn (Tenor und Streichquartett)
Interlude (Orchester)
Wissenschaft und Theorie (Duett und Orgel)
Carpe diem (Unterstufen-Sprechchor und Klavier)
Das Oskar (Chor und Orchester)
Hymne (Tutti)

de: Die Festkantate Carpe diem wurde im Frühjahr 2014 komponiert zur Feier von 150 Jahren Oskar von Miller-Gymnasium. Der Text zum Thema Erziehung wurde von der Schülerin Alina Rothmeier verfasst. Die Kantate feiert nicht nur ein Jubiläum, sondern auch die Kraft der Musik, verschiedenste Instrumentalisten und Sänger in einem gemeinsames Projekt zu vereinen. In der Aufführung wirken zwei Schulchöre und das Schulorchester mit, unterstützt von Profis und Sommerkurs-Teilnehmern.
Das Werk spiegelt die vielfältigen musikalischen Erfahrungen des Komponisten als Cellist, Chorsänger, Organist und Pianist. Es enthält, wie die Oratorien von Händel, mehrere Teile. Jeder Satz ist anders instrumentiert, und erst im letzen Chorsatz werden alle Kräfte vereint. Der Komponist interessiert sich für die Schnittstelle zwischen Etablissement und Avantgarde. Vertraute Formen und Schreibweisen werden verfremdet durch neue Techniken, wie z.B. Sprechchor.
Der Prolog für Orchester wird von einem charakteristischen fünfsilbigen Motiv geprägt (Os-kar von Mil-ler), das in späteren Sätzen wiederkehrt. Das Motiv Carpe diem wird von Trompete und Horn vorgestellt.
Das Interlude (Nr. 7) weicht vom Erziehungsthema ab und widmet sich einem Porträt von Oskar von Miller als junger Mann, der draufgängerisch, ehrgeizig und widerborstig gewesen sein soll.
Das Oskar (Nr. 10) für Chor und Orchester ist ätherisch und schwebend, Flöten- und Klarinettenfiguren huldigen dem Oskar-Tag.
Im dreiteilgen Finale (Nr. 11) werden die drei Strophen der Hymne von einem rhythmischen Ritornello mit dem Anfangsmotiv gegliedert, jedes Mal neu instrumentiert. Am Schluss werden beide Solisten, beide Chöre, Orchester und Orgel vereint für die Coda, in der das Motto Carpe diem von allen proklamiert wird.

Jota Cromatica für Viola und Klavier
UA 2. März 2014, Berg
en: Jota Cromatica was written in early 2014 as a companion piece to the Sonata ebraica. The Jota is a Spanish dance in three-time, most commonly associated with the regions of Aragon and Navarra. In its original form it was accompanied by such instruments as bag-pipes, guitars, tambourines and castanettes. Liszt, among others, wrote a celebrated Jota for piano.
the emphasis in this quasi-virtuosic concert-piece is primarily on a lively and robust dialogue between the two instruments. This is set against a continually shifting harmonic background, putting into question the nominally pivotal tonal axis of D. An introduction uses a toccata-like, alternating-hands figuration in the piano. Then, after a hesitant "false start", the dance begins, charaterised by strong accents and repetitive two-bar phrases. A second subject is more linear and lyrical, especially in the viola writing, - "chromatic" here in the side-stepping nature of the voice leading. The coda works itself into a well-nigh hispanic frenzy before the opening toccata figuration in the piano calls a halt to the proceedings and abruptly draws the work to a close.

Alcatraz für Streichquartett
The Rock - Adagio - Moderato e risoluto
Solitary - Scherzo, Agitato ma non troppo allegro
Sioux - Andante lamentoso
Testimony - Allegremente, precipitando
UA 11. November 2014, Berg
en: The work attempts to extend both instrumental and harmonic vocabulary. Various "extended techniques" are used, including string slapping, barriolage, sul ponticello and col legno battuto, to expand the palette of sounds. Dissonances are often left unresolved, and the part writing often more independent and contrapuntal. There is a demonic 12 tone row in the aphoristic breathless scherzo, which permeates the middle section of the movement. The work captures sounds of the island and twittering birds, recollections of Navaho Indian music and static, non-developmental harmonies.
1. The Rock - sounds of the island then and now - birds - clunk of keys (which inmates said defined the day) - sounds of the vigorous night - life wafting over to the isand to the despair of the prisoners
2. Solitary - fanatif thoughts of a solitary prisoner
3. Sioux - The Island used to be a sacred place for the Native Americans. What a crual twist of fate, that Natives were locked up there. The movement recalls a Navaho melody notated by the composer on a trip to US in the 1970s.
4. Testimony - a brash, quite orchestrally conceived movement, inspired by the many layers of human occupation