An lovely original work, perfect for recitals. Review: "A delightful piece by English composer Martin Yates, whose eclectic style is fast earning him popularity. For studios, colleges, conservatories and professionals." – New Issues September 1994 Review: "Interesting and refreshing Sonatina in three movements. A lively first movement with some technically challenging passages interspersed with a lovely lyrical melody. The second movement states 'like a French Chanson' and provides a charming tune before another lively movement to close, again with some faster passages covering the whole of the instrument. Probably suit a strong post grade 8 student upwards and should not pose too many difficulties to get together with the piano part which is clear to read and not too demanding. The second movement would work well on its own as a concert item." – Dr. Rachel Smith DMA, MA, BMus (Hons), FTCL – March 2013
Described by the London Times as "one of the most exciting and versatile British conductors of his generation”, Martin Yates made his conducting debut with Bizet’s 'Carmen' at the Israel National Opera aged 24 and has since had a busy career that has included conducting many of Europe’s major symphony orchestras and at many important opera houses including the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Royal Scottish National Orchestra, London Symphony Orchestra, Philharmonia, BBC Concert Orchestra, Royal Stockholm Philharmonic, Royal Flanders Philharmonic, Gothenberg Symphony Orchestra and Opera, Royal Opera House in Convent Garden, Royal Swedish Opera House and the Rome Opera. He has appeared with such leading performers as Montserrat Caballe, Bryn Terfel, Barbara Hendricks, Angela Gheorghiu, Roberto Alagna and Yo-Yo Ma and has conducted the Nobel Peace Prize Concert in Oslo three times. Intending from the outset to pursue a career as a composer, Martin studied with Richard Arnell and Sir John Taverner and has written four string quartets 'LA Beach Music', 'New York Night Music', 'Frisco Bay Music' and 'Nashville, Tennesse'. The ever-popular 'Café Music', a 'Harpsichord Sonatina', 'Divertimento' for oboe, bassoon and double bass and a considerable amount of music involving the flute, most of which was written for the British flautist Anna Noakes. These works include the Sonata 'Fire Island', 'Sonatina 1 and 2', 'Sonata for Flute and Harp' and 'Concerto for Flute, Harp and Strings'. The Guardian described Martin Yates as a composer of confident and engaging music that has a style and colour that is both immediately appealing and rewarding to listen to. Martin has also written several scores for theatre productions including the plays 'Jane Eyre', 'The Woman in White' and 'Dear Octopus', three musicals 'Wuthering Heights', 'The Soap Opera' and 'Nothing Doing Tonight' and later works include 'Brass Quintet' and 'The Promise' for Flute Ensemble. Players as diverse as flautist Anna Noakes, harpist Gillian Tingay, pianist Kathron Sturrock, flautist Emily Beynon, double bass payer Duncan McTeer, soprano Jean Glennon and conductor Kent Nagano have played his music. His very popular arrangements of the two Gershwin classics 'S Wonderful' and 'I Got Rhythm' for horn quartet are played all over the world.
Starting with a lively opening theme the Bagatelle leads into an appassionato type melody before going back to a faster pace - a reminder perhaps of a short happy holiday? Dawn awakens in Dawn Chorus leading to the main melody as the day progresses, with a second theme representing the sun arriving in the early hours of morning. Ganger is a walking type dance of a German nature reminiscent of pre war Berlin.
Starting peacefully and calmly Valse Semplice is followed by a variation of mood swings and melodies before returning to the valse. The Gipsy Rondo represents an atmospheric Hungarian scene, and When Autumn Comes starts with a nostalgic main melody describing autumn having arrived, before chasing through the falling leaves.
A substantial challenging work set in three movements. The first movement with its energetic opening is a rhapsody, a fantasy representing everyones Fire Island. The Adagio is there to remind us of the people who are no longer on the island - those who died and those who just don't return. The second subject is like the whispering of the kind of questions that permeate every close knit community. The excesses of life explode throughout the exuberant final, and Fire Island ends in optimism and triumph.
The title Seren Y Nos is Welsh for Star of the Night. This atmospheric piece by Rebecca Faith is based on a simple bass line made up of three chords but the overall result is quite complex. There are two main themes, the first heard on the piano, the second introduced by the flute - these two themes are then layered, inverted and heard in different ranges, timbres and textures to create a sound that goes far beyond two simple themes. The result is a magical sound that has a distinct enchanting impression of a vast open space, hence the title Star of the Night.
The alternative harmonies in this arrangement by Rebecca Faith make it a highly emotive interpretation. The piano takes control of the main melody, with the flute adding beautiful harmony and decorative features. The phrases O Come All Ye Faithful and Joyful and Triumphant are explored in shifting keys and harmonies adding a unique richness. However, the melody is still strongly present leaving the listener satisfied that they have heard the much loved tune.