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George Meets Arnie For Tennis.

Harry M., (2005) 'George Meets Arnie For Tennis.', The New Music Players, Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama, Glasgow.


I have always been fascinated by the fact that George Gershwin played tennis with Arnold Schoenberg in Los Angeles not long before his death. On the one hand, their encounter suggests a clash of artistic personalities and values – the ‘naïve’ composer v. what Hans Keller used to call the ‘striving’ composer. Musical elements symbolising the composers and these ideas can be heard clearly at the outset of ‘George Meets Arnie’. On the other hand, in composing the piece, I became curious as to what extent their respective personalities could assert themselves in a medium other than music – in this case tennis, which through its own set of rules imposes (especially for the unfit composer) severe limitations on artistic expression. The overall design of tennis – in particular the layout of the court itself and the idea of ‘discrete’, bite-sized chunks (points) – has had such a strong impact on the composition of this piece that by the end you could say there is no winner other than tennis itself. ‘Fluency’ and ‘competence’, ‘musical structure’ and ‘artistic expression, ‘success’ and ‘failure’ have been constant themes of my music for over ten years now. The paradoxical idea of succeeding through failure, though, has become more difficult to express as I have gained more and more experience as a composer. In order to depict the notion of the ‘alien’ medium in good faith I have therefore – voluntarily – submitted my compositional technique to a rigorous going-over.

Item Type:Other
Additional Information:George Meets Arnie For Tennis, for flute, clarinet, violin, cello and piano, World premiere: recording for the BMIC Contemporary Voices Recordings Series by the New Music Players, London, April 2004, to be released in April 2006.* First public performance by the New Music Players, Glasgow, March 2005; also [20 mins] Future performance planned: Northern Sinfonia conducted by Peter Wiegold, The Sage, Gateshead, May 21st 2006.
Full text:Full text not available from this repository.
Publisher Web site:UNSPECIFIED
Record Created:23 Jun 2006
Last Modified:08 Apr 2009 16:21

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