Gregson Writes New Work for Strings


Edward Gregson has been commissioned by the Ida Carroll Trust to write a new work for string orchestra in memory of the Cheshire artist Dorothy Bradford who died in July last year aged 90.

The composer writes:

In looking for a particular painting from the artist’s considerable output on which to base my new work, I was drawn to one entitled Goddess (1980), unusual for the artist’s output in its subject matter. In a largely blue canvas it depicts a seemingly lonely reclining female figure – sensuous, beguiling, and preoccupied. I have written a slow movement which tries to capture this haunting image in sound.

Written for a string orchestra of 15 players, it features an important role for a solo viola (the Goddess of the painting). In turn, the music tries to reflect the different moods I felt from the canvass – sinister, reflective, haunting, captivating, peaceful. The work begins and ends on the pitch of A (a double bass harmonic) and is diverse in its contrast of chromatic and diatonic harmonies. There is a strong lyrical presence throughout, particularly towards the end of the piece.

The first performance will take place at Nantwich Parish Church on Sunday 7 June at 7.30pm, and will be given by Manchester Camerata who have a close association with the composer. They premiered his cello concerto at the RNCM Manchester International Cello Festival in 2007.