Birtwistle Duets for Storab for Two Flutes


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Birtwistle Duets for Storab for Two Flutes

Birtwistle Duets for Storab for Two Flutes



Discover Harrison Birtwistle’s “Duets for Storab,” inspired by the legends of Hebridean island Raasay. Composed between 1975 and 1983 during Birtwistle’s residency, these flute duets pay homage to Storab, a Viking prince. Legend says he sought refuge on Raasay but faced hostility from the islanders. The duets capture this captivating tale and the island’s mystique, making them a musical journey worth exploring.

Composer’s Description

“From 1975 to 1983 I lived in the Hebridean island of Raasay. On the ordinance survey map the name of Storab appears three times. Loch Storab, Storab’s Burn and Storab’s grave. Legend has it that Storab, a Viking prince, was shipwrecked and sought refuge on the island. The islanders, being hostile, chased him to the loch where he swam to the island in the middle. The islanders, who couldn’t swim (which is mainly true today) drained the loch and chased him down the burn, killing him where he is buried. These pieces are the last music I completed there.” Birtwistle

Sir Harrison Birtwistle

Birtwistle (1934-2022) was a British composer who transitioned from playing the clarinet to focusing on composition in his 20s. He belonged to the “Manchester School,” a group of performers and composers from northern England who embraced modernism, breaking away from London traditions.

Born in an industrial town near Manchester, Birtwistle began playing the clarinet at an early age and later received a scholarship to attend the Royal Manchester College of Music. Alongside fellow students like Peter Maxwell Davies and Alexander Goehr, he co-founded the Pierrot Players in 1967. Birtwistle’s music explored large-scale time structures, utilizing complex cyclical principles to control its form. His notable works included theatre pieces like Punch and Judy (1966–67), The Mask of Orpheus (1973–84), and Gawain (1990–91; revised 1994), as well as orchestral compositions like The Triumph of Time (1971–72), Silbury Air (1977), Secret Theatre (1984), and Panic (1995).

Throughout his career, Birtwistle continued to create acclaimed operas, including The Last Supper (1998–99), The Minotaur (2005–07), The Corridor (2008), and The Cure (2014–15), along with various other notable works for different ensembles and orchestras. He received significant recognition, being knighted in 1988 and becoming a Companion of Honour in 2001.

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Weight 0.0000 kg
Finance for your Flute
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