Gavin Bryars Introduces

Gavin Bryars Provides Introductions to Many of his Prominent Compositions

Monday, April 18, 2011

As part of our deep dive into the music of English composer Gavin Bryars, we offer on-demand insight and commentary on numerous pieces from the composer himself. Hear the exclusive introductions throughout Never Failed Me Yet followed by the related pieces or listen to the unabridged versions of the composer's commentary in our permanent archive below.

Given the extent of Bryars's current repertoire, we've grouped pieces by the form of their original instrumentation. Performance details are taken from and Bryars's publisher, Schott Music.

Browse by genre: Stage | Orchestra | Concerto | Keyboard | Chamber | Vocal



Amjad (2007)
Dance by Edouard Lock, after Tchaikovsky for two violas, cello, piano

BIPED (1999)
ensemble and pre-recorded tape

G, Being the Confession and Last Testament of Johannes Gensfleisch, also known as Gutenberg, Master Printer, formerly of Strasbourg and Mainz (2001)
Opera for soloists and orchestra

Medea (1982; rev. 1984 and 1995)
Opera for soloists, chorus and orchestra

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After the Requiem (1990, rev. 2003)
electric guitar and strings

The Archangel Trip (1993)

Epilogue from Wonderlawn (1994, rev. 2006)
double bass choir and piano

Four Elements (1990)
large ensemble

The Porazzi Fragment (1999, rev. 2006)
string ensemble

The Sinking of the Titanic (1969)
digital tapes and ensemble

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Allegrasco (1983, rev. 1998)
clarinet or soprano saxophone and string orchestra

By the Vaar (1987)
double bass, bass clarinet, percussion and strings

Cello Concerto, "Farewell to Philosophy" (1995)
solo cello and orchestra 

Double Bass Concerto, "Farewell to St. Petersburg" (2002)
solo double bass and orchestra

The Green Ray (1991)
soprano saxophone and chamber orchestra

The Old Tower of Lobenicht (1987)
violin or viola and chamber ensemble

Piano Concerto, "The Solway Canal" (2009)
solo piano, male choir and orchestra

Violin Concerto, "The Bulls of Bashan" (2000)
violin and orchestra

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Ramble on Cortona (2010)

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Alaric I or II (1989)
saxophone quartet

The Last Days (Die letzten Tage) (2002)
two violins

One Last Bar Then Joe Can Sing (1994)
5 percussion 

The South Downs (1995)
cello and piano

String Quartet No. 1, "Between the National and the Bristol" (1985 )
string quartet 

String Quartet No. 2 (1990)
string quartet 

String Quartet No. 3 (1998)
string quartet 

Sub Rosa (1986)
six players

The North Shore (1995)
viola and piano

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The Black River (2000)
soprano and organ

Cadmium Requiem (1989)
male voices and strings

Glorious Hill (1988, rev. 2005)

The Summons (2008)

a capella male choir

Super Flumina (2000)
four unaccompanied voices or male choir

Three Poems of Cecco Angiolieri (1997)
mixed choir with soli

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Comments [4]

PorterAnderson -

I am at your service any time.

Apr. 20 2011 09:20 AM

Richard -
You're too kind, surely, but thanks for your note, and I do get your point. I tend to carry on here at in an attempt to get across my gratitude for what the outfit is doing. What we're hearing takes a lot of work to produce, as you know. As for widening the choir, I am, in fact, working on an idea in that regard and would love to be in touch with you about it once I have things firmed up a bit.
Always appreciate your good thoughts here, too -

Apr. 19 2011 12:36 PM


You are a good writer with substance to your comments. But, here, you are preaching to the choir. You should be doing a blog to reach a wider world.

Apr. 19 2011 08:48 AM

If the smartest, most comprehensive, and mind-bracing delivery of new music isn't enough for you, Q2 will win you over with its site's mushrooming body of archived material. Greatest and latest entry: This killer compendium of Gavin Bryars' eloquent, engaging commentaries heard during Q2's weeklong Never Failed Me Yet celebration of his work. This is a signal service, unequivocal evidence of Q2's commitment to its mission, a substantial investment of time and work, and a green ray on the horizon toward which Q2 is wooing us 24/7.

Apr. 18 2011 11:06 PM

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