[OPUS 15A IS A SIMPLIFIED VERSION OF OPUS 15, MORE SUITED TO AMATEUR STRING ORCHESTRAS, AND/OR WHERE REHEARSAL TIME IS VERY LIMITED: The key signature is made more straightforward in this version, and various ossia and doubling options are also made available.]
ABOUT THE MUSIC
A natural rubato is felt throughout this haunting, single-movement work (initially composed in 1984 for string quintet as "Opus 1", and then newly arranged in 2015 for full string orchestra by Anthony Weeden - in collaboration with the composer - as "Opus 15").
The sound is reminiscent of that of ancient church music. Written in the stile antico, it opens with a “Plainsong”, then comes the main central “Anthem”. There is a brief reprise of the opening theme, before the work closes with a more emphatic “Fantasia” (where the sense of rubato becomes almost improvisatory). The work, as a whole, may be said to comprise a poignant “prayer” for strings.
REVIEWS [of the original string quintet version, Op.1]:
* "a beautiful serenade" - American Record Guide (USA), May-June 2012
* "yearningly lovely" - Music OMH (UK), November 2008
* "intensely ethereal" - Tempo (UK), January 2008
* "a work of beauty and sincerity" - conductor Robert Ian Winstin (USA), recording with string soloists of the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra in 2006