About The Music

Dip into our programme notes for pieces presented by Music in the Round. Covering music that is forthcoming and has been recently performed, learn more about the works and also listen to brief extracts. 

About The Music: O

ONSLOW George, Nonet in A Op.77

Allegro spirituoso
Scherzo. Agitato
Tema con variazioni
Finale. Largo – Allegretto quasi Allegro


Onslow was born in Clemont-Ferrand, the son of an aristocratic British family. He studied with Cramer and Dussek, and though travelling widely, he always remained loyal to the Auvergne working as a successful farmer as well as composing a large body of chamber music (including thirty-six string quartets) along with four symphonies and operas. His music was admired by Schumann and Mendelssohn, and the Nonet, composed in 1848, is dedicated to Prince Albert. The first movement has a nervous energy that is quite characteristic, and from the very start it’s clear that Onslow makes imaginative use of the ensemble. The Scherzo that follows has an unusual combination of austerity and charm, based on pithy Beethovenian main idea. The slow movement is theme with five variations. After a slow introduction, the finale is gently animated, working its way towards a dramatic conclusion.


Nigel Simeone © 2012

OSBORN, Laurence Me and 4 Ponys

Me and 4 Ponys is about drawings by children. I love drawings by children because they are completely unconcerned with consequence or correction. The first mark on paper is always part of the final piece. Each line is fearlessly drawn. Form, scale, and subject change constantly throughout the creative process, at the whim and intuition of the artist. The results are always endearing and grotesque in equal measure. Me and 4 Ponys wasn’t made in this way – I rewrote and scrapped a lot of music while writing it. But it musicalises aspects of children’s drawings – hard, wax-crayon-like textures, and big, unannounced gestures like handprints or blobs of paint. There’s a jig-like pulse that persists throughout the piece, which is why the title refers to ponies.

© Laurence Osborn


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