3(I,II=afl;III=picc).2.corA.2.bcl.dbcl.2.dbn-6.3.2.btrbn.1-timp.perc(4):I=3Chin.cym(sm,med,lg)/vib/2tgl/flex; II=3susp.cym(sm,med,lg)/xyl; III=tam-t(lg)/3susp.cym(sm,med,lg)/4tom-t/sandpaper/SD/BD,flex; IV=BD(lg)/marimba/sandpaper/4bongo/2susp.cym(lg,sm)/sizzle cym/steelspring-harp-cel(=MIDI kbd trigger)-pft-strings(126.96.36.199.8)
The night has always held a special fascination for me. As composition gripped me increasingly throughout the '90s and ultimately became my main area of musical endeavour, I became more and more attuned to the specific fruitfulness of nighttime thoughts in my own creative processes.
Nocturnal works have therefore always occupied a major place in my list of works, from my first major chamber work, Night Window, in 1993 right through to Notturno Inquieto, originally commissioned by the Berlin Philharmonic in 2018 and which, in modified form, takes a central role in this new work, Nocturnes and Night Rides.
On the one hand it’s the magical sense of quietude at night that my composing self finds so enticing; a space in the day where sonic thoughts can unfold more freely, unencumbered by daytime obligations and disturbances. But on the other hand the night is a time that sets other possible selves in motion. Daytime is for shopping, running errands, paying the bills. Nighttime is for musing and wondering, live music and theatre, socialising, partying. Not all my "night musics” are therefore serene and quiet; far from it as you’ll hear in this new work. It has five movements grouped into three parts and which present a wide variety of energetic fields, from contemplation and dreams through to dance and danger.
Across its 25 minutes, “meine nicht so kleine Nachtmusik” also features a robust sense of virtuosity, a diverse set of instrumental challenges hopefully fitting for celebrating one of the world’s finest and oldest orchestras, this year notching up a truly mind-blowing 500 years! Happy birthday to the Bayerisches Staatsorchester - here’s to many, many more!!
Brett Dean, 2022