3(I,II,III=picc).2.corA.Ebcl.2.bcl.2.dbn-4.3(I,III=picc.tpt).3.1-timp.perc(4):vib/glsp/2susp.cym(one large, one small with sizzle)/2cyms/tam-t/BD/SD/TD/5Chin.bl/3wdbl/maracas(deep)/2 anvils(bright)/claves/tamb/bell tree/bell(middle C)/tgl/wind machine-cel-harp-pft-strings
Holloway was somewhat relieved that this commission for the Proms was for a relatively short piece. Following the rigours of the epic Fourth Concerto, he was keen to produce a piece of concentration and brevity. In so doing, one of his models was Schoenberg’s Five Pieces for Orchestra, where colour and intensity are so important. Indeed, Holloway described the first movement as black, the second as an airy green Scherzo, the third movement – an Adagio – in varied hues, the Adagissimo fourth movement is blue and the Finale was inspired by the sight of a vivid red pillar-box in bright sunlight. As always in Holloway’s concertos for orchestra, the orchestral writing is virtuosic while the textures vary from the sparseness of chamber music to a rich and full orchestral palette.
Repertoire Note by Peter Marchbank