Silbury Air is a musical composition for chamber ensemble by the English composer Sir Harrison Birtwistle. Written in and revised in , it takes as its inspiration the prehistoric mound of Silbury Hill in Wiltshire , with its connotations of the spiritual and mysterious: the precise function of Silbury Hill remains unknown. However the mood of the piece is not contemplative. It is described by the composer as "a compound artificial landscape or 'imaginary landscape', to use Paul Klee's title Birtwistle has stated that the piece follows a strict logical pattern, but chooses not to disclose what that is, much as Silbury Hill has never revealed its purpose to archaeologists.
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Despite the problems caused by the Corona-virus our Webshop and the contact forms on our website are fully available. You may also address your inquiries to customer-relations universaledition. Thank you for your understanding if our answer takes longer as usual because of the current restrictions. Your Universal Edition Team. Silbury Air is named after Silbury Hill, a prehistoric mound in Wiltshire, the biggest artificial mound in Europe, being feet high and covering more than five acres.
Its use and purpose, after centuries of speculation, still remain a mystery. The music of the Air is not in any way meant to be a romantic reflection of the hill's enigmatic location — nor a parallel with any of its evident geometry. Seen from a distance the hill presents itself as an artificial but organic intruder on the landscape.
These objects themselves being subjected to a vigorous invented logic via modes of juxtaposition, modes of repetition, modes of change. The measured period, the blocks of sound, the processional intensity all make for instant identification, a composer who goes his own way relentlessly and in his own time. His latest work, Silbury Air, given its first performance by the London Sinfonietta under Elgar Howarth, is another is his sequence of landscape works, but it presents a striking new development.
The result is dramatic and immediately exciting, contradicting in its vitality the idea of static blocks of sound on which Birtwistle has usually relied, but equally showing the firmest possible architectural sense, with each section relating naturally and satisfyingly to the rest. With so much argument crammed into so relatively short a span, it is a work that cries out for early repetition.
Universal Edition We shape the future of music. Search Shopping cart Your shopping cart is empty. More info Add to shopping cart. Work introduction Silbury Air is named after Silbury Hill, a prehistoric mound in Wiltshire, the biggest artificial mound in Europe, being feet high and covering more than five acres. Sir Harrison Birtwistle. The complete perusal score PDF-preview. Previously Viewed Works.
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