CD: Music from the North Lands

The Nicholson Pierce Duo

CD CoverIncludes Three Dirges composed by David Horne which was commissioned by the performers, also on this album of contemporary music are works by Edward McGuire, Sir Peter Maxwell Davies, Toru Takemitsu & Adrian Shaposhnikov.

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Audio samples

Track Listing

Folk memories in Autumn Edward McGuire (b. 1948)
  Andante
3'21"
  Jig
3'07"
Three Dirges David Horne (b. 1970)
  slow and mysterious
6'24"
  very energetic, not too fast
3'59"
  tranquil, serene
6'14"
Two Dances for Caroline Mathilde Sir Peter Maxwell Davies (b. 1934)
  Adagio
3'01"
  Moderato
4'26"
Towards the Sea Toru Takemitsu (1930-1996)
  The Night
4'03"
  Moby Dick
4'44"
  Cape Cod
4'06"
Sonata (1926) Adrian Shaposhnikov (1888-1967)
  Andante con moto
5'47"
  Menuet - Allegretto
2'28"
  Allegro molto
4'24"

CD Notes & Credits

Sleeve Notes

"Music from the North Lands" includes several pieces by composers who have a natural affinity with the often rather bleak, but austerely beautiful land - and sea-scapes of the north. In fact the music by David Horne was commissioned by the Nicholson Pierce Duo for performance at the Northlands Festival in 1993. This Festival has sought to link the artistic ventures and artists of the Scandinavian, Icelandic and Scottish peoples, and is centred (in Scotland) on the towns of Thurso and Wick. Eluned and David have worked for a number of years as a duo, and as colleagues in such orchestras as the Scottish Chamber Orchestra (of which David was principal flute until September 2001), leaving to devote more time to solo work and teaching), and the Royal Scottish National Orchestra, of which Eluned was the harpist until leaving to take up her present position of harpist with the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra.

Folk Memories in Autumn - Edward McGuire

Edward McGuire was born in 1948, and studied the flute with David Nicholson at the Royal Scottish Academy of Music in Glasgow. Subsequently, he studied in London, at the Royal Academy of Music, with James Iliffe, and in Sweden with Ingvar Lidholm. His output has included many chamber works, a ballet, (Peter Pan, which has received over 100 performances), and solo pieces, including "Prelude 3" for solo flute, (one of a series of pieces fro solo instruments). Edward McGuire also plays the flute in "The Whistlebinkies", a Glasgow based folk group of which he is founder and director. Of the two movements, which were specially arranged for David and Eluned, the first is a haunting evocation of the music of the isles, and the second, ostensibly a jig, has reflective moments which suggest, maybe, a remembered, rather than an active, dance.

Three Dirges - David Horne

The composer provided the following note for the first performance of the work, which took place on 23 September 1993, at the Northlands Festival in Thurso, Scotland. "Three Dirges was written in August 1993 while I was in residence at the Vermont Festival. Each movement is different, both in material and character, though there is a harmonic idea woven through each movement. This is particularly audible at the beginning, and towards the end of the second and third movements. The first movement is mysterious and rhapsodic, the second is a faster moto perpetuo, while the third is the simplest, sounding calm and reflective." The work is dedicated to the memory of Saeed Montazery, who died in March 1993.

Two Dances for Caroline Mathilde - Sir Peter Maxwell-Davies

When the Scottish Chamber Orchestra was playing the suite that 'Max' made from the ballet music he wrote for the Royal Danish Ballet, I mentioned to him how beautifully one of the movements worked for flute and harp, and how nice it would be if there were more music that would be suitable for Eluned and I. A few months later, Max sent us these two lovely dances! We are very grateful to him, and now that they are published, I feel sure they will receive many performances.

Towards the Sea - Toru Takemitsu

"Towards the Sea" belongs to a series of pieces Takemitsu wrote on 'watery' subjects. Takemitsu remained, throughout his life, a highly individual voice in Japanese music, largely self taught, and with very wide interests in art and poetry, he was, for a time, part of a group of artists working in several disciplines. This work dates from 1981, and is scored for alto flute and harp, or for alto flute and guitar. There is a 3-note motif, common to all three movements, formed from the notes E flat, E, and A. The German system of notation renders E flat as Es, and hence Es(S), E and A(SEA). The choice of an alto flute, together with special fingerings, trills, and pitch alterations, is surely meant to suggest the sound of the Shaguhachi. The movement titles are "The Night", "Moby Dick" and "Cape Cod". Nantucket, near Cape Cod, was the capital of the whaling industry in 19th century USA, and it was from here that the ill fated whaler 'Essex' sailed for the tragic encounter in the Pacific with an enormous sperm whale, which rammed the ship, resulting in it's sinking, and which provided the inspiration for Melville's novel. A sense of the limitless expanse of the ocean pervades this music, encapsulating, I am sure, the bleak but magnificent seascapes of the north Atlantic.

Sonata (1926) - Adrian Shaposhnikov

Adrian Shaposhnikov was born in 1888 and died in 1967. he was a native of St. Petersburg and studied there, graduating in 1913 as a pupil of Glazunov. Having also studied at the St. Petersburg Technical Institute, he worked first as an engineer, and then freelance composer. He later moved to the Turkmen republic, and is credited with writing the first 'Turkmen' Opera, but his wide range of compositions include a ballet, a cello sonata and many pieces for piano as well as songs. Impressionistic influences have been ascribed to him, and he has also been described as a composer of romances. Both characteristics are present in the work played here. A complex first movement begins with florid passages for the flute, followed by an Allegro section containing rhythmic interchanges between the two instruments. A graceful minuet follows; simple in outline perhaps, but containing, as indeed does the whole work, much virtuoso writing for both players. The last movement is a 6/8 movement, extremely vigorous in it's character, ending with a return to the material and mood of the opening of the sonata.

Credits

Programme notes by David Nicholson and David Horne
Produced by David Nicholson and Colin Stephen
Recorded at Clifton Hall School, Edinburgh in February 2001
Photography by David Nicholson
CD Production by Brinam CD

Album Information

Instruments: Flute & Harp
Genre: Contemporary Classical
Format: CD
Our Ref: A0006
MCPS: DMP001CD
Label: Birman CD
Year: 2001
Origin: UK

Ensemble Information & Contact Details

Photo of David Nicholson

Photo of Eluned Pierce

"Music from the North Lands" includes several pieces by composers who have a natural affinity with the often rather bleak, but austerely beautiful land - and sea-scapes of the north. In fact the music by David Horne was commissioned by the Nicholson Pierce Duo for performance at the Northlands Festival in 1993. This Festival has sought to link the artistic ventures and artists of the Scandinavian, Icelandic and Scottish peoples, and is centred (in Scotland) on the towns of Thurso and Wick. Eluned and David have worked for a number of years as a duo, and as colleagues in such orchestras as the Scottish Chamber Orchestra (of which David was principal flute until September 2001), leaving to devote more time to solo work and teaching), and the Royal Scottish National Orchestra, of which Eluned was the harpist until leaving to take up her present position of harpist with the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra.
E-mail Davidnflutes@aol.com
Bookings

Available for Concerto Performances, concerts, recitals, festivals and as a freelance duo for public and private events.

Members David Nicholson (Flute) & Eluned Pierce (Harp)

Artist Information: David Nicholson

Photograph of David Nicholson (flute)DAVID NICHOLSON was born and educated in Newcastle upon Tyne, and studied the Flute with Geoffrey Gilbert at the Guildhall School of music in London, where he was a medallist in the final examinations. He also studied with Jean-Pierre Rampal in France, and received some lessons from, and attended the master classes of Marcel Moyse.

On moving to Scotland, David became very involved in chamber music ensembles, founding a group which performed music of the Baroque period and also the 20th century. He was also a founder member of, an ensemble dedicated to the performance of new music, which commissioned works from Scottish composers, and which gave several performances at the Edinburgh International Festival. This interest in chamber music led to David, in conjunction with some colleagues, starting the Scottish Chamber Orchestra , and he remained their principal Flute for some 26 seasons, appearing frequently as a soloist with them, in music from Vivaldi to Maxwell Davies, via Mozart and Nielsen.

David has also always had a busy schedule as a teacher, and takes great satisfaction that his students have been members of, or have played regularly with, the majority of British orchestras. Since leaving the SCO, after the Albert Hall Promenade concert in September 2001, David has had more time to devote to his own work, which has included recitals and master classes both here and abroad. In the summer of 2002, he spent time on the faculty of the International Flute Seminar at Lake Placid in the US, and returned there in July of 2003 He has also been on the staff of the RSAM for more than 30 years, as one of the UK’s most successful teachers: his students have gone on to work with, or be members of most British orchestras. He directs the Edinburgh Flute Course, which will this year take place in July.

For the last ten years, David has enjoyed a collaboration with the harpist Eluned Pierce. They have given recitals throughout the UK and in Europe, have made a very favourably reviewed CD “Music from the North Lands” and have had several works written for them. Eluned Pierce, a soloist in her own right, is presently the harpist of the Bournemouth Symphony orchestra.

 
E-mail Davidnflutes@aol.com
Bookings

Available for Concerto Performances, concerts, recitals, festivals and as a freelance flutist for public and private events. Also available for master classes and workshops.

Artists Web Site www.impulse-music.co.uk/nicholson.htm

Artist Information: Eluned Pierce

Photo of Eluned PierceEluned Pierce began her harp playing in Wales. Guided by her harp tutor Mary Stephens some of Eluned’s early successes included four consecutive wins at the Urdd National Eisteddfod and at the age of 16 the privilege of soloist with the National Youth Orchestra of Wales on their annual concert tour.

Eluned was awarded a foundation scholarship to study with Marisa Robles at the Royal College of Music, London. She received several college awards and it was whilst still a student that she first performed at the Wigmore Hall.

As well as recital work throughout Britain, together with radio and television broadcasts, she has played at many festivals, including Edinburgh and Harrogate and also in Germany, Poland, Japan and Slovenia.

On moving to Scotland she was Principal Harp in turn with the Scottish Ballet, BBC Scottish Symphony, Royal Scottish National and Scottish Chamber Orchestras. Whilst there she tutored harp at the Royal Scottish Academy of Music & Drama, and is now associated with its Welsh equivalent and also the National Youth Orchestra of Wales.

Eluned was invited to join the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra in 1994 beginning with the Orchestra’s Centenary tour of the United States. Now established as one of the UK’s leading harpists, working as a soloist and guest of other orchestras, the most recent invitations have come from the Philharmonia Orchestra and The Royal Opera House, Covent Garden.

Contact Details Eluned can be contacted through Creighton's Collection using the e-mail below.
E-mail ElunedPierce@creightonscollection.co.uk
Booking
Available for Concerto Performances, concerts, recitals, festivals and as a freelance harpist for public and private events.
Teaching Eluned teaches the Harp at Royal Welsh College of Music & Drama
Ensembles Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra (Principal Harp), The Nicholson Pierce Duo, Kokoro Ensemble
Artist Web Site Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra (www.bsolive.com)