Matthew Schellhorn


IAN WILSON (b. 1964)
Limena (1998/rev. 2006)
version for piano and string quartet | 18'30 | World Premiere of this version 2007 | Dedicated to Matthew Schellhorn
  • SummaryOpen or Close
    On 16 February 2007, Matthew Schellhorn gave the world premiere of Ian Wilson's Limena with the Carducci Quartet in Oxford.

    Limena was originally written in 1998 for pianist Hugh Tinney and the Irish Chamber Orchestra. It was revised in 2006 for performance with piano and string quartet. The programme also included Haydn's String Quartet in D, op. 50, no. 6 ('Frog'), Ian Wilson's Verschwindend for piano solo, and Schumann's Piano Quintet in E flat, op. 44.

    There was also a pre-concert talk during which Ian Wilson chatted with Matthew Schellhorn about his music.
  • Programme noteOpen or Close
    Limena was written in 1998 to a commission from the Irish Chamber Orchestra. I was living in Belgrade at the time of writing - a mostly very happy and peaceful period in my life - and was interested in creating an abstract, flowing piece of music which would explore the gentler qualities of the piano. When writing, I actually composed the complete piano part first and then went back to the beginning to orchestrate it. Since it had been written that way I always felt the piece could work well as a solo in its own right, hence Lim.

    The Omagh bombing atrocity took place as I was writing, and so the central part of the tripartite structure is requiem-like in feel, more darkly insistent and tolling than the rest. Although the piece falls into three broad sections, on a small scale the ideas are very fluid, and I was keen to let them inspire each other, let the music write itself, so to speak. The result is that the music has a stream-of-consciousness feel to it, where ideas grow out of each other, and there is rarely anything like a sudden interjection. In Limena, all the strings use metal mutes, so the soloist can play more quietly than he or she would perhaps normally feel able to - I wanted to create an atmosphere where the audience has to really listen to hear all the notes, an atmosphere of quiet intensity. Only at the end does the music actually become loud, and then only so it can subsequently die away, as if continuing to sound beyond our hearing.

    © 2005 Ian Wilson
  • PerformancesOpen or Close
    26 February 2007 – Jacqueline du Pré Music Building, Oxford, UK; with Carducci Quartet World Premiere of this version
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