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Catalogue No: M060116650
Shop Product Code: 182144H
“The sequence of Orkney Saga will eventually consist of 14 works inspired by an exhibition mounted by the St. Magnus Festival, Orkney, in 1995. For this, Orkney artists were commissioned to paint 14 huge canvases to hang the full height of Kirkwall Cathedral.
"The new work features a solo alto saxophone, played by Simon Butterworth, the dedicatee, who usually plays bass clarinet in the orchestra. It is based on two melodies: the Hymn to St. Magnus, from a twelfth-century manuscript in Uppsala, Sweden, and a fourteenth-century plaiansong from an Icelandic manuscript, used to celebrate the five-hundredth anniversary of St. Magnus. These two melodies are in a state of constant transformation into different versions of themselves and of each other, and the musical forms are firmly anchored in fourteenth-century models. I hear the saxophone solo as an Orkney Norseman of the twelfth century - his character, his thinking - and the orchestra as the natural soundscape and man-made, surrounding him, to which he responds and reacts.”
-Peter Maxwell Davies
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