For soprano saxophone (or clarinet) and orchestra
(N.M.O. 12688A Study Score)
Orchestral material available on hire
Reflections is an hommage to two significant British composers from different periods, John Dowland (1563–1626) and Benjamin Britten (1913–76). The music consists of a set of variations on a song of Dowland, My Thoughts Are Wing’d with Hopes (No. 3 from The First Booke of Songs or Ayres, rst published in London, 1597).
As a young viola-player, I played Benjamin Britten’s beautiful piece Lacrymae — Reflections on a Song of Dowland, opus 48, for viola and piano (1950). The way Britten relates to Dowland’s music — full of respect and love — made a deep impression on me. In my piece Reflections, I borrow both the title and the approach from the 20th-century master Britten, although my musical language is different.
The tonal material is limited to a mode, derived from the melody notes of the song (G, A-flat, B-flat, B, C, D, E-flat and F) with an additional F-sharp. Rhythmically, it is a play with various proportions of time divided into three (3/2, 3/4, 9/8, 9/16, etc) and ambiguous three-piece rhythms (hemiolas, etc.), which are also typical of the renaissance music. After a lyrical opening in the spirit of the song, the music gradually intensifies up to a short, impetuous cadenza. The piece ends in the same poetical mood as the beginning, this time with direct quotations from the song.
B. Tommy Andersson