oboe, viola and cello
duration: 12 minutes
Westron is based on the melody of
the Tudor love lyric Westron Wynde, made famous by its use in the
Western Wynde masses of Taverner, Tye and Sheppard:
Westron wynde, when wille thow blow,
The smalle rayne down can rayne.
Crist yf my love were in my armys
And I in my bed agayne.
Like these composers' masses, it is cast as a set of variations, but here
the theme only emerges clearly at the end of the piece, revealing the
foregoing variations as a search for the material, in which the occasional
contour of the melody (notably a characteristic downward scalic movement)
Born in Blackburn in 1978, James Weeks
was a chorister in the Choir of Christ Church Cathedral Oxford from 1986-91,
subsequently held scholarships at Winchester College, and from 1997-2000
was Organ Scholar of Queens' College Cambridge, where he read Music. In
October 2000 he began postgraduate studies in composition at the University
of Southampton with Michael Finnissy.
Most recently, performances of his music have taken place in London, Southampton
and Bavaria, and in May 2001 his ensemble work Egyptischer Marsch
nach Johann Strauss was featured in the New Music Players' Brighton
Festival recital. Current projects include a music-theatre work for wind
quintet and a song-cycle for countertenor.
As a conductor, James Weeks' work with Queens' College Choir from 1998-2000
culminated in several acclaimed recordings, including an innovative recital
disc of choral works by Skempton, Weir, Harvey and Tippett entitled Flight
of Song, released in January 2001 on Guild. He was Assistant Conductor
of the Cambridge University Musical Society from 1998-2000, and is now
active as a freelance conductor in Britain and Germany.
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