Cairngorms Traverse, Op.18 (Bullivant, Nicholas Murray)

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Nic Bullivant (2018/4/13)

Publisher. Info. Nicholas Murray Bullivant, 2006.
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23 more: Flute 2 / Piccolo • Oboe 1 • Oboe 2 / English Horn • E♭ Clarinet • Clarinet 1 (A) • Clarinet 2 (A) • Bass Clarinet (B♭) • Bassoon 1 • Bassoon 2 • Contrabassoon • Horn 1 (F) • Horn 2 (F) • Horn 3 (F) • Horn 4 (F) • Trumpet 1 (B♭) • Trumpet 2 / Cornet (B♭) • Trombone 1 • Trombone 2 • Bass Trombone • Tuba • Timpani • Percussion 1 • Percussion 2

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Nic Bullivant (2018/4/14)

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PDF typeset by composer
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General Information

Work Title Cairngorms Traverse
Alternative. Title Symphony No.2
Composer Bullivant, Nicholas Murray
Opus/Catalogue NumberOp./Cat. No. Op.18
I-Catalogue NumberI-Cat. No. INB 2
Key A minor
Movements/SectionsMov'ts/Sec's Five sections, played continuously
Year/Date of CompositionY/D of Comp. 2003-10
First Publication. 2018
Average DurationAvg. Duration 47 minutes
Composer Time PeriodComp. Period Modern
Piece Style Modern
Instrumentation orchestra
Extra Information Symphony recalling a long walk in the Cairngorms

Misc. Comments

SYMPHONY (No. 2) Cairngorms Traverse Nic Bullivant

SYNOPSIS

“A big lump of music for a big lump of mountains” is how this piece was approached. The Cairngorms are remarkable for the way they stand across the Highlands as a barrier to the rest of the world, uninterrupted by major breaches, a broad, high, inspiring place. The music is a recognition of this huge massif, being a continuous orchestral poem three-quarters of an hour in length. Though unbroken, like the mountains, there are distinct phases in the music which approximate to five contrasting movements, played without a break.

The five phases and sixteen distinct themes of the piece are held together by the repetition of two of the themes: one a low restless uttering as if from the earth itself, the other a fanfare of inspiration. The latter was written, but not used, as a fanfare for the inauguration of the National Park, to which the piece is dedicated.

The first phase of the music describes the dawning of the day on which the Cairngorms traverse begins; far views of the mountains, the long walk in and the inspiration of the high tops. An interlude evokes the feeling of hidden interior in the mountains, deep valleys cut off by high plateaux. The music is taken over by a theme imitating a thin breeze, which grows in intensity to become an exhausting gale, overloading the ear with high-pitched sounds. At last this suddenly subsides, the ensuing moment of silence not really representing a break in the music, rather more a contrast.

The warm brass melody taking over from this evokes night time, a dream world which feels as if it could go on forever. This is interrupted by music representing two natural night time events, one heavenly, one earthly. The night time music is never far away, and eventually develops into an evocation of sunrise, when a song-like melody introduces a phase of the music which considers the effect of humans on the mountains. This is clearly not all a happy relationship, lyrical sections followed by a more exciting section and then an elegiac one before the song-like melody returns to usher in the final phase of the music. This, like any traverse of the mountains, is almost a reverse of the initial stage, the long walk out finishing with a distant view back to the mountains which have been such a barrier but brought so much enlightenment.

Running time is 48 minutes. The break referred to after the second phase of music is at 20 minutes.

Scoring is for symphony orchestra: Double woodwind, one flute doubling with piccolo and one oboe with cor anglais, bass and E clarinets, contra bassoon, four horns, two trumpets, one doubling as cornet, two trombones, bass trombone and tuba, harp, three timpani and three other percussion players, including large gong, and standard symphonic orchestra string section.

The 106 A3 pages of score are available in pdf, as are the parts.