Graham Waterhouse, 2010

Actual concerts / Aktuelle Konzerte

Sonntag, 28. Oktober 2018, 11 Uhr
Gasteig München, Kleiner Konzertsaal

Confrontations

Werke für Cello und Klavier

Graham Waterhouse: Confrontations für Cello und Klavier (2006)
Freda Swain: Cello Sonata in C (1927)
Waterhouse: Dragonesque für Cello und Klavier (2017)
Frederic Delius: Cello Sonata (1916)
Waterhouse: Chinese Zodiac für Cello und Klavier (UA)

Graham Waterhouse, Cello
Timon Altwegg, Klavier
Eva Hofmann, Cello
Cosima Fischer von Mollard, Klavier

Sonntag, 14. Oktober 2018
Aula des Christoph-Probst-Gymnasiums Gilching

Ballett

Graham Waterhouse: The Seven Ages, Interaktives Ballett für sieben Tänzerinnen, einen Tänzer, zwei Violinen, Viola und Cello (UA)

Recently published / Veröffentlicht

Thomas Tunes, Thomas the Tank Engine for cello, Breitkopf 2017

Did you know ...

… ... that in his song cycles, Graham Waterhouse has used a cello, a string quartet, or a Pierrot ensemble to complement the singer?

(Wikipedia:Recent additions 13 April 2017)

Recent works / Neue Werke

2018

Chinese Zodiac

Chinese Zodiac for cello and piano
Chinesischer Tierkreis für Cello und Klavier

UA 28. Oktober 2018, München

en Chinese Zodiac is a composition for cello and piano in seven short movements. It was written with a German/Chinese family in mind. The work follows on from Chinese Whispers Dragonesque, which also combine Chinese and European musical elements. A Prologue sets the scene for a narrative scenario, describing a lively rural family with a young child quarreling with its parents and escaping to the forest. The child experiences visions of the five Chinese elements, the characteristics of which overlap with the animals of the Chinese Zodiac. The visions appear in the order: Metal, Wood, Earth, Fire, Water. The piece closes with a Postlude in which the child is escorted home by friendly forest animals. In its bed, the child drifts off to sleep, casting into doubt whether the events actually happened, or where perhaps just imagined. Following on from the Ballet project "The Seven Ages", the music is consciously descriptive and graphic, using a wide range of devices and techniques to bring the narrative to life.

The Seven Ages

The Seven Ages, interactive ballet for seven female danvers (the seven ages), a male dancer (Death), two violins (muses), viola and cello, after Shakespeare's "All the world's a stage"
The Seven Ages (Die sieben Lebensalter), interaktives Ballett für sieben Tänzerinnen (sieben Alter), einem Tänzer (Tod), zwei Violinen (Musen), Viola und Cello, nach Shakespeares "All the world's a stage"

UA 14. Oktober 2018, Gilching

de The Seven Ages (Die sieben Lebensalter) entstand als Auftragswerk. Es ist ein interaktives Ballett, das inspiriert wurde von "All the world's a stage", der Rede von Jacques aus Shakespeares "As you like it" (Wie es euch gefällt). Das Ballett stellt den Zyklus eines Menschenlebens dar. Vom Beginn des Lebens an werden sieben Altersabschnitte gezeigt, stets begleitet vom Tod. Er erscheint nicht bedrohlich, sondern als selbstverständlicher Gegenspieler, der mit den Lebensaltern agiert, – „ohne Tod kein Leben“. Die uralte Beschäftigung mit dem Tod wird in Form eines Totentanzes dargestellt, der seinen Höhepunkt in der erneuten Geburt eines Säuglings findet, mit der ein neuer Zyklus beginnt. Die sieben Alter, weiß gekleidet, empfangen vom Tod ein Tuch in einer der Regenbogenfarben, das jeweils Symbol der Seele gelten soll. Die Geigerinnen begeben sich auch tanzend in die Geschichte hinein.

en It was in early 2016 that I was asked to consider a subject for a 50 minute ballet for the Gilching Ballett-Schule. The idea appealed greatly – I had always wanted to write a ballet even more than an opera, having grown up with, played and hugely admired the repertoire of the Ballets Russes. I searched for scenario which would feature the two violinists of Duo ASAP, not just as musicians, but as protagonists in the stage action too. Having seen As You Like It recently at the Globe Theatre in London, it struck me that Jacques' famous speech, „All the World’s a stage“ (Act II, Scene 7) with its succinct, vivid descriptions of the Seven Ages of man, could form the basis for such a ballet. Shakespeare’s verses would act as Leitmotiv through a series of scenes, in which the seven ages, from infant child to elderly person would be acted out by individual dancers, and „commented upon“ by the violin duo, much in the style of the Greek chorus. At times the violinists would be drawn into the action, elsewhere observing from the side-lines, always playing the duo music carrying forward the narrative.

The seven tableaux for each of the seven ages are "set-piece" compositions written for violin duo, each with a different expression or energy, according to the respective age. The dancing figures in the ballet are understood as symbols of different stages of life, transcending considerations of time, gender, stereo-type. Between each scene are short interludes for the other two off-stage members of the quartet – viola and cello. These both reflect upon the preceding events and prepare the way, musically and atmosperically for the following scene.

All through the seven scenes, the black figure of Death is omni-present, albeit in a passive role, a symbol of the unavoidable spectre of death, which accompanies humans throughout the entire cycle of life. After the dancers depicting the seven ages have all had their turn, the figure of Death rises from his plinth and asserts his own presence in three Dances of Death. For the first time (except at the opening), the string quartet is heard in „full voice“. Both within these dances and throughout the entire ballet, the figure of Death is treated as a benign, well-meaning figure, as much part of life as the changing ages themselves. This follows the medieval tradition of German tales, engravings, plays, in which the shrouded, skeleton figure of Death, often carrying a scythe, interacts and mingles with the earthlings in an untroubled, „collegiale“ way (for example in „Tod und das Mädchen“). This stands in contrast to the Mediterranean and French depictions, where the black figure of death is rather considered as a threatening, menacing force.

Towards the close, each age has its own entretien with the figure of Death, as if acknowledging his inavoidable presence, but in a reconciliatory way. Fragments of the duo music from the previous scenes are briefly recalled. In a further twist to the narrative, one of the violinists escapes from the quartet constellation and performs her own dance with the deathly figure. Musicians, after all, are as much subject to the laws of nature as everyone else. The life cycle is closed by a return of the early lullaby which sooths the new-born infant to sleep, as in the opening scene. The music creeps from low on the cello C-string up through five octaves to the high, consonant intervals of the two violins, with which the whole work began. The ritual gong sounds once again, representing both the close of a human cycle, as well as the start of a new one.

Fergus

Fergus, song for soprano, flute, cello and piano after W.B. Yeats
Fergus, Lied für Sopran, Flöte, Cello und Klavier nach W.B. Yeats

UA 22. Juli 2018, München

Scena e Danza Catanesi

Scena e Danza Catanesi (Catanese scene and danse) for solo cello
Scena e Danza Catanesi (Szene und Tanz aus Catania) für Cello solo

Totentanz

Totentanz (Danse macabre), string trio
Totentanz, Streichtrio

UA 20. Januar 2018, Gilching

2017

Dragonesque

Dragonesque for cello and piano
Dragonesque für Cello und Klavier

Jugend musiziert 2018

Emerald Spring

Emerald Spring, cycle of Irish songs for soprano and piano
Emerald Spring (Smaragdfrühling), Zyklus irischer Lieder für Sopran und Klavier

UA 22. Juli 2018, München

en Emerald Spring was composed in 2017 in response to a request from the soprano Clare Treacey and her family for a song cycle reflecting Irish connections. In searching for words to set I looked at Irish verse from the earliest centuries after the birth of Christ up to the present day, witness to an immensely rich heritage of literature through the ages. Encouraged by the soprano for whom the work was being written, I eventually decided upon seven texts by women poets, dating from the 8th century to present day.

The poems cover a wide range of subjects and sensibilities, from the radical evangelising of "Eve" and "The Phoenix", through Victorian sentiments of "The Spring", and "Song" to the upbeat, maverick, contemporary proletizing of "News", "Small Breaths" and "The Poetry Bug". The poems share a common attitude to the country of Ireland, to its people, its nature, its religion, its daily life. The vocal part expresses a multitude of different moods and affectations according to the nature of the poem being set.

Kriegslied

Kriegslied (War Song) after a poem by Matthias Claudius, for choir and piano
Kriegslied nach einem Gedicht von Matthias Claudius, für Chor und Klavier

UA 8. November 2017, Berlin

Eight Bagatelles

Eight Bagatelles for clarinet, violin, cello and piano
Eight Bagatelles (Acht Bagatellen) für Klarinette, Violine, Violoncello und Klavier

  1. Catapulted
  2. Weightless
  3. Demonic
  4. Otherworldly
  5. Space Lord
  6. Vison
  7. Dopplar
  8. Galactic City

UA 8. Oktober 2017, München

en The initial idea for the Bagatelles came from a picture of an installation entitled Ilya Kabakov, the man who flew into space from his apartment". This sparked off an imaginery science-fiction narrative, appealing for the generation brought up with Dr Who and "Hitchhikers' Guide to the Galaxy". Kabakov encounters various apochrophal characters, situations, states of mind before his journey is finally cut short when he confronts the galactic city.

  • Ilya, sitting peacefully at his place,
    was one sunny Sunday suddenly catapulted into space.
  • On leaving earth's athmosphere far below,
    he found himself weightless, top to toe.
  • His first terrifying encounter was with a demonic extra-terrestial,
    in the shape of a beast most bestial.
  • He soothed his nerves and calmed his mood,
    humming an otherwordly melody from his child-hood.
  • Who should o'er-hear him, hand in laser-Sword,
    but the forbidding, the black-masked Space Lord.
  • They chatted about times present, future and past,
    Ilya's vision of life in the stars grew fast.
  • On he accelerated, past time-warps and nebulae,
    past dopplar effects and meteorae.
  • His progress was halted with dazzling alacrity,
    on coming face to face with the menacing Galactic City. (GW)

  • There are eight shortish pieces, each different in length, scoring and mood. An under-lying current is time-travel, which applies also to the types of music, which encompass a broad spectrum between dissonance and euphony, sophistication and commonplace. The Bagatelles explore one sentiment each; they are fleeting visions of an outlandish imaginery scenario.

    de Die Idee für die acht Bagatellen wurde von einem Bild ausgelöst, das eine Installation zeigt: "Ilya Kabakov, der Mann, der von seinem Appartment ins All flog". Es erweckte die Vorstellung einer Science-fiction-Geschichte seiner Reise, mit Anklängen an Dr. Who und "Hitchhikers' Guide to the Galaxy". Kabakov erlebt verschiedene Begegnungen und Situationen, bevor seine Reise plötzlich in der Galactic City abbricht. Die acht kurzen Stücke variieren in Länge, Instrumentation und Stimmung. Unterschwellig geht es um eine Zeitreise, die auch die Musik betrifft. Ein weites Spektrum umfasst Dissonanz und Wohlklang, Gewöhnliches und Exzentrisches. Jede Bagatelle erforscht eine ihr eigene Ausdrucksart, als flüchtige Vision einer außerirdischen Sphäre.

    Irish Phoenix

    Irish Phoenix for soprano and ensemble: flute (doubling piccolo), clarinet (doubling bass clarinet), violin, cello, piano, percussion
    Irish Phoenix für Sopran und Ensemble: Flöte (auch Piccolo), Klarinette (auch Bassklarinette), Violine, Violoncello, Klavier, Schlagzeug

    1. Eve (Anon, 8th century)
    2. News (Colette Nic Aodha, late 20th century)
    3. The Spring (Katherine Tynan, early 20th century)
    4. Song (Rebecca Scott, 1870)
    5. Interlude
    6. Small Breaths (Eileen Hulme, 1990)
    7. The Poetry Bug (Colette Bryce, early 21st century)
    8. The Irish Phoenix (Anon, 18th century)
    en Following on from Music of Sighs which set extracts of James Joyce, Irish Phoenix is a cycle of seven songs for soprano and instrumental ensemble setting poems of Irish women poets through the centuries. It was composed in the early months of 2017.
    The subjects of the poems span religious fervour of the Middle Ages, through yearning sentiment of the Victorian Age, disillusionment of early 20th century through to the restless frenzy of the late 20th century. The predominantly lyrical mood of the poems is reflected in the music, which aims to colour and illuminate the words according to their varied expression. Particularly two of most recent poems, "News" and "The Poetry Bug" are filled with far-fetched imagery, as well as being at times biting and sarcastic. These call for virtuosic treatment from the singer, who uses at times a quasi-parlando style, associated formerly with vaudeville or music-hall.

    UA 1. April 2017, München

    en Following on from Music of Sighs which set extracts of James Joyce, Irish Phoenix is a cycle of seven songs for soprano and instrumental ensemble setting poems of Irish women poets through the centuries. It was composed in the early months of 2017.
    The subjects of the poems span religious fervour of the Middle Ages, through yearning sentiment of the Victorian Age, disillusionment of early 20th century through to the restless frenzy of the late 20th century. The predominantly lyrical mood of the poems is reflected in the music, which aims to colour and illuminate the words according to their varied expression. Particularly two of most recent poems, "News" and "The Poetry Bug" are filled with far-fetched imagery, as well as being at times biting and sarcastic. These call for virtuosic treatment from the singer, who uses at times a quasi-parlando style, associated formerly with vaudeville or music-hall.

    Quam celerrime

    Quam celerrime (As fast as possible), string quartet
    Quam celerrime (So schnell wie möglich), Streichquartett

    UA 5. Februar 2017, Grünwald