Six Bulgarian Folk Songs - arr Mark Baigent: With it’s emphasis on close harmony, unaccompanied female vocal music, these folk songs lend themselves well to performance by three oboes. Female singers of Bulgarian music focus the voice in such a way that the sound carries long distances outdoors – the sound has a noticeable “edge” to it. There is an emphasis on discords, and on additive rhythm. Lively dance-like music is contrasted with intensely expressive lyrical songs.
Tsirana - David Knotts: Specially commissioned by Pipers 3 for performance at the St Magnus Festival in Orkney, this piece takes its inspiration from one of the oboe’s ancestors, the Armenian duduk. The duduk is made from the wood of the apricot tree, sacred in Armenian folk legend. The first movement is a fanfare in praise of the life-giving tree. In the second, we imagine the inter-weaving tangle of roots and branches. The third finds each player singing alone in the shade of the tree. In the fourth and final movement, we see the tree standing alone beside the sea, as the waves and winds swirl around it in a storm!
Director – Ian Wilson, Rebecca Vučetić, Caoimhe de Paor, Miriam Nerval, James Brookmyre, Lydia Gosnell, Dylan Kirby, Georgina Murphy, Hannah Fisher
Karel van Steenhoven - Wolken (1984 rev.1994): In Wolken (Clouds) Karel van Steenhoven takes inspiration from the subtle shape-shifting in cloud formations, taking thematic material and allowing it to disperse and reform like wisps of fine mist. The piece is centred around the note D and makes striking use of a pizzicato-like articulation, passed through each of the parts.
Maki Ishii - Black Intention IV (1980): As its title suggests, Black Intention IV by Maki Ishii explores rather intense and darker sounds. Dispersal is a theme here too, most notably towards the end where the parts completely drift apart in a manic, quasi-improvised section. Eastern harmonies are mixed with an almost robotic rhythmic idea that seems set on a path of destruction.
Arvo Pärt – Pari Intervallo: The term tintinnabulation (meaning like the ringing of bells) is one that Arvo Pärt uses to describe a compositional technique common to much of his music. Pari Intervallo is a model example of this bell-like way of writing. The simple harmonies are allowed to bleed into one another as each part changes note.
Annette Ziegenmeyer - The Guru Guy (2003): The Guru Guy by Annette Ziegenmeyer is in essence a canon played by just one person. Here the player performs with a delayed version of themselves allowing a web of simple harmonies to build up. Again, the pizzicato or ‘sputato’ articulation is employed here to great effect.
Leo Chadburn - de la Salle 2 (1999): Leo Chadburn’s de la Salle was written for four violins playing a whispering, constant tremolo on double stops. The piece exploits the possibilities of various intervals from a prescribed tone row which is finally heard in its full form near the end. De la Salle 2 is the transcription made by the composer for the recorder quartet The Flautadors.
Gavin Bryars - A Family Likeness (2008): Gavin Bryars’ A Family Likeness uses a technique championed by Schubert whereby distant harmonies are linked together by approaching from one common note. Perhaps this trait in common is the ‘likeness’ of the title?
The unique sound of Pipers 3 is produced by ‘three remarkable oboists’ who form one of Europe’s leading oboe trios. Since their inception in 1990, audiences have continued to be captivated by the wide range of sound and expression that is characteristic of this trio and are amazed by the variety and quality of their repertoire. They have appeared on BBC Radio 3, and performed in venues including Wigmore Hall and the Purcell Room, as well as venues throughout the UK. Classic FM and their CD ‘intercession’ is seen by many as a landmark recording.
The oboe trio is a late classical Viennese chamber music form for two oboes and cor anglais. Fashionable in Vienna for just 30 years, and with two compositions for the ensemble by Beethoven, the form was rediscovered in the 20th century, with Pipers 3 at the cutting edge of the development. The group’s research into classical repertoire is matched by a strong commitment to new music, pushing the boundaries of technique, and seeking to discover new sounds for the ensemble by commissioning new works.
Woodwork, the Guildhall School of Music and Drama's recorder consort consists of recorder players from both undergraduate and post-graduate courses. Playing on a vast array of instruments ranging from six inches to six feet long, they are rapidly gaining a reputation for colourful performances of music ranging from the mediaeval period to the modern day. The past year has been a busy one with performances in the Percy Grainger Festival at King's Place, a tour to Scotland involving concerts and educational work, a performance in the City of London Festival as well as the establishment of a highly creative collaborative relationship with the GSMD saxophone department. The consort was invited to take part in the Carl Dolmetsch Centenary celebrations in October last year. The group is directed by Ian Wilson with additional input from the GSMD's visiting recorder professors, Pamela Thorby and Robert Ehrlich.