at the gates
for solo cello and brass band
First performance by Malcolm Goodare (cello) and the University of Manchester Brass Band
Conducted by James Heathcoate
solo vlc.soprano cornet.solo cornets.repiano cornet.flugel horn.
2nd cornets.3rd cornets-solo horn.1st horn.2nd horn-1st baritone.
2nd baritone-1st trombones.2nd trombones.bass trombone-euphoniums.Eb bass.Bb bass-perc(4):I-crot/SD; II-glsp/whip; III-vib/
This piece was a commission from the University of Manchester for a
joint concert between the Brass Band and String Orchestra, hence the
unorthodox combination of solo cello and brass band.
In order to solve the challenges presented by the instrumentation,
mostly regarding balance and blend, I turned to the 2nd movement of
Beethoven's 4th Piano Concerto, which has been likened to Orpheus
taming the Furies, and this is where I took the inspiration for the piece.
Taking the Beethoven as model, I envisioned the soloist and the band
as two diametrically opposed forces. The cello is relentlessly lyrical
while the brass band is at first ferocious and aggressive, but towards
the end of the piece this transforms into much gentler material with
lush harmony and texture, tracing a trajectory from opposition to