Anatomy of Melancholy
duration: 28 minutes
The Anatomy of Melancholy
The Anatomy of Melancholy is an obsessive work. It has an
intense focus and grip on its musical material which never manages to
free itself from the gloomy world it inhabits. Through its five movements,
The Anatomy of Melancholy explores aspects of depression which
range from quiet introspection, hopelessness and obsession through to
manic energy. The journey is a long one with the piece lasting around
twenty -eight minutes. However, to obtain the levels of emotional intensity
I was aiming for, and with the constant development of musical material
and polarities of mood covered, I felt the time scale was as necessary
a part of the overall intention of the piece as the musical material itself.
The work makes huge emotional and technical demands on the performer.
Throughout the work, the player has both to inhabit this dark sound world
and cope with demanding virtuosic writing contrasted with music of expressionless
Marc Yeats began composing seriously in
1994 following his participation in the Hoy Summer School in Orkney organised
by the Scottish Chamber Orchestra and hosted by Sir Peter Maxwell Davies
and that year Sally Beamish. This course offered the first ever contact
he had had with other
composers and professional musicians: the experience changed his life.
Since then he has received performances by The Edinburgh String Quartet,
The Chamber Group
of Scotland, Psappha, Richard Casey, The London Sinfonietta, The Endymion
Scottish Chamber Orchestra, The BBC Philharmonic Orchestra and Tokyo City
with broadcasts on BBC Radio 3, BBC Radio Scotland and abroad.
In 1996 he was awarded a composers bursary by The Scottish Arts Council
which ran over three
years. The bursary was offered to enable him to compose full time. In
1997 he was commissioned by the St. Magnus Festival. THE ANATOMY OF AIR,
a 25' composition for the Scottish Chamber Orchestra, was conducted by
Sir Peter Maxwell Davies in the festivals opening concert in June. Later
in the year the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra performed I SEE BLUE, conducted
by Sir Peter Maxwell Davies and Psappha gave the world premiere of PUMPING
IRON for ten musicians. The Endymion Ensemble gave the works second performance
at the South Bank, London in April 1999. I SEE BLUE has so far been broadcast
3 times on BBC Radio 3.
In November 1997, PAGAN II for orchestra and IS IT ME? (Cl/BCl,Vc, Pno)
were premiered in Tokyo as part of The Next Millennium Composition Award,
where five orchestral works by composers from around the world under thirty-five
years of age were selected by Henri Dutilleux to be premiered by Tokyo
City Philharmonic Orchestra, conducted by Naohiro Totsuka. The event has
been broadcast throughout Japan.
In 1997 he was also awarded a two year composition bursary from the Hope
Scott Trust. In February 1998, ROOM, a 12' work for Piano was given its
premiere by Richard Casey in a Psappha promoted concert in Manchester,
it has subsequently been performed in the 1998 Cheltenham Festival and
throughout the U.K.
In February 1999 PAGAN II was being recorded for broadcast on BBC Radio
3 by the BBC Philharmonic, conducted by Sir Peter.
Recent commissions include a new work for The London Sinfonietta for inclusion
in their 'State of the Nation' series, premiered at the Hayward Gallery
in London in April 1999, and a work for piano and orchestra for Kathryn
Stott and the BBC Philharmonic, premiered on the 5th February 2000 in
the Bridgewater Hall Manchester at the opening concert of the Piano 2000
Festival. This work was broadcast live and recorded for BBC Radio 3's
Hear and Now.
In December 1999, A Waiting Ghost in the Blue Sky (Cl. Vc. Pno perc (1))
was given its premiere by Contempo Ensemble in Prato, Italy. The work
was later performed by Psappha (the dedicates of the work) in the 2000
St. Magnus Festival and broadcast on BBC Radio 3. In November 2000, Sir
Peter Maxwell Davies gave the European premiere of I See Blue, for orchestra,
with the Gerwandhaus Radio Orchestra in Leipzig, Germany. The concert
was broadcast live on German radio.
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