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  • Bells In The Air
    Bells In The Air ThumbnailBells In The Air Thumbnail

    Cecilia McDowall

    Bells In The Air

    • 12.25


    • Product Details
    • Composer Biography

    Instrument: trumpet in Bb and horn in F duet
    Grade: difficult
    Catalogue No: EB015
    ISMN No: 9790570270675

    The clangourous sound of a peal of bells always fills me with a sense of great joy. The skill of bell-ringing seems to require such a fine balance between physical strength and perfect timing and yet when the sounds do collide with each other these imperfections seem just as endearing. I wrote Bells in the Air, a fanfare for trumpet and horn duo, thinking of that characteristically uneven fall of sound and how each pitch can set rich overtones a-jangling.

    The musical direction 'bells in the air' or 'bells up' is an exhortation to the brass player to bring the sound forward by raising the bell of the instrument. But in this fanfare there is also a suggestion that bells of a different kind may be heard, peals of bells, both near and far. The UK premiere performance was given by Paul Archibald and Stephen Stirling on 11 September, 1999 at the Summer Music Society of Dorset, Minterne.

    The British Composer Awards 2005 were presented by the British Academy of Composers and Songwriters in association with BBC Radio 3 and sponsored by the Performing Right Society. Cecilia McDowall was shortlisted in two categories, her motet Regina Caeli in the Liturgical section, which was performed by the BBC Singers, and the large-scale setting of Stabat Mater for the 'Making Music' Award. Making Music is the body which represents hundreds of amateur choirs, orchestras and music clubs throughout the United Kingdom.
    Cecilia McDowall
    Cecilia McDowall is fast becoming one of Britain's most popular and frequently performed composers. Her wide experience in performing, teaching and composing has enabled the formulation of a uniquely original style that speaks directly to listeners, instrumentalists and singers alike.

    Born in London in 1951, she read music at Edinburgh and London University and continued her studies at Trinity College of Music in London. She studied composition with Joseph Horovitz, Robert Saxton and Adam Gorb and has won several major composition awards.

    She has received many commissions which include those from London Musici, London Mozart Players, Presteigne Festival of Music and the Arts, the trumpeter, Paul Archibald, flautist, Susan Milan, Fibonacci Sequence and Ensemble Lumière.

    Her music has been widely performed throughout the United Kingdom and abroad, and at a variety of festivals including Deal, Presteigne, Hampstead and Highgate, Music Past and Present and at Dartington International Summer School. Her works are regularly broadcast on BBC Radio and Television.

    She has written a number of works for brass, including a trumpet concerto, Seraphim, a trumpet and piano duo, The Night Trumpeter and a brass dectet, Salon Argentina.

    Premières in 2004 have included Dancing Fish for saxophonist Sarah Field and the Brontë String Quartet, a string quartet, The case of the unanswered wire, for the Sorrel Quartet at the Presteigne Festival and a chorus and orchestra setting of the Stabat Mater for the St Albans Choral Society. A CD of her choral music was released in October, 2004, on the Dutton Epoch label.

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