The Moon, the moon! for symphony orchestra

Research output: Non-textual formComposition


[programme note]

And hand in hand, on the edge of the sand,
They daned by the light of the moon,
The moon,
The moon!
They danced by the light of the moon.

(E. Lear)

This piece is not a programmatic response to Lear's poem, but nevertheless his imagery of strange nocturnal songs and dances, of moonlight flickering on the water, of winged instrumentalists and al-fresco dining kept me company as I wrote the music. I wanted to write something fun, energetic, excited and full of life, a musical journey that delights in unexpected twists and turns.

After a short introduction, there is a dance glistening with violin harmonics, which alternates with gruff, lopsided staccato figures in the brass. Following this, clouds of string pizzicati support a passionate oboe duet. A climactic tutti suddenly reveals an ornately decorated song, beginning in the flutes and then spreading through the strings, while a distant horn remembers the melody of the earlier dance. The register expands out from the flute trio until the opening sonority is regained and the piece gently ends.

The Moon, the moon! was commissioned by the London Symphony Orchestra in association with UBS and first performed by the LSO on 19th December 2007 in the Barbican Hall, London.

Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationLondon
PublisherFaber Music Ltd.
Media of outputScore
Size33 pages (c.7 minutes)
Publication statusPublished - 2011
EventBBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra performance - City Halls - Glasgow, United Kingdom
Duration: 12 May 2011 → …

Bibliographical note

Commissioned by the london Symphony Orchestra in partnership with UBS as part of the Sound Adventures scheme.

The first performance was given by the London Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Michael Francis, at the Barbican Hall, London, on 18 December 2007

Duration: c. 7 minutes

Instrumentation: timp 2perc cel hp strings

Subsequent performance: BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Ilan Volkov, at the City Halls, Glasgow on 12 May 2011. Broadcast live on BBC Radio 3

Cite this