Pan - Journal of the British Flute Society
UK based composer Richard Nye was a chorister at Gloucester Cathedral before studying music in London. Written in a tonal language reminiscent of the English Pastoral style, this trio for flute, oboe and clarinet has five short movements. Commissioned by the Hambledon Ensemble in 2005, the music has a geographical connection to the Iron Age hill fort at Hambledon Hill. Each of the movements describes one of the views from the ridges of the hill.
The first movement describes the A357, complete with minor moments of road rage! A rhythmically active movement, the parts weave around each other, moving in the same direction but with a sense of moving apart and coming back together. Moments of slower movement suggest the ebb and flow of the traffic, this is descriptive and achieves a strong sense of character in just a few bars.
The second movement is slower and more lyrical, and represents a cold morning at the river Stour. The third movement has the air of a folk-influenced dance, and is entitled Shillingstone Station Ghosts. Conjuring up the atmosphere of a disused railway station, the music imagines a time when it was a busy and important place.
At St. Nicholas' Gate has a reverential feel, and the parts move together in a hymn-like style. The final movement, Primary Playtime is the most rhythmically complex of the five, and represents the village primary school. Folk-like themes emerge once again here, and there is a charming lightheartedness in the ending.
Each movement is around a minute in duration, and Nye captures the different moods well in a short space of time. The instrumental parts are well balanced and would suit intermediate players, making it ideal for school-age students. The score and parts are clearly laid out and well presented.
From the Publisher
From Hambeldon's Ridge The commission brief asked for 'several short sound pictures that described the area around the village of Child Okefore, Dorste'. Written for the Hambledon Ensemble in 2005, the work centres around Hambledon Hill and its ancient Iron Age hill fort.
Difficulty level, roughly compared to ABRSM exam grades. 0 is beginner, 9 is advanced (beyond grade 8).