Straight off the bat, this is beautiful…
There is a lot going on here, and I’ll try my best to break it down.
First the piece opens with a harp and possibly pizzicato strings, setting the rhythmic pattern at the beginning. It’s emotive, and as someone who gets goosebumps from strings being played right now I’m tingling.
The piece builds up, going at a good tempo, the key signature being C major, and in common time, the progression is very contemporary, even though using classical instruments, it reminds me of a film score but since this is not a symphony orchestra it’s a string quartet plus harp and clarinet… it just gives you that epic feeling.
Honestly I can’t even begin to describe how uplifting this is. Very heart stirring get up and go music.
This is part of a three part suite, and this is the first track.
According to their EPK in Dionysus Ensemble had this to say.
The Dionysus Ensemble were fortunate to gain National Lottery funding to commission female Scottish composer Seonaid Aitken to write a new suite for them for the Platinum Jubilee. Their ensemble for this project is string quartet, clarinet and harp.
“Change has become a constant” – HM Queen Elizabeth II
(2002 – Golden Jubilee speech to parliament)
The longest reigning British Monarch for 70 years, The Queen has seen an incredible amount of social change. However, she has remained the one constant throughout the lives of our generation and this is musically signified by the recurring 7-crotchet ostinato in this first movement. Opening with sparkling harp and pizzicato strings as a nod to the Crown Jewels, the music is grounded in C major with an innocence to the opening melody denoting the young Elizabeth taking up her duties as head of state. As the piece unfolds, a stately chorale appears but is left hanging unfinished mirroring the next part of The Queen’s journey which is still to be written.”
I have history with the Dionysus Ensemble, having interviewed Leonie Adams about a project that was recorded with musicians and singers from around the commonwealth during 2020 and the outbreak of covid. Please do check out “Simple Gifts” and “New Every Morning”.
Check out my interview with Leonie Adam’s here:
Listen to the track HERE
Review by Del Osei-Owusu