Listen to excerpts from all three movements
n October 2004 the Guernsey Camerata rounded off a year of celebrations for the twenty-fifth anniversary of the BWCI Group with the première of Guernsey Postcards, which they had commissioned. I conducted the first performance in the St. James Concert Hall, Guernsey. The three-movement work is a bright and breezy Sinfonietta celebrating the sights and sounds of Guernsey.
I wanted to write something sparkling and lively, and the first movement invokes the bustle of ‘The Viaer Marchi’ (an annual event demonstrating some of the old Guernsey traditions), although it begins with a more solemn introduction. The music of the introduction makes an appearance in each of the three movements and perhaps represents the spirit of Guernsey.
The second movement, ‘Pembroke Bay’, begins with a lyrical melody on the bassoon and takes the form of an expressive aria, or ‘song without words’. The last movement is, by contrast, deliberately minimalist, and I had in mind the sun glistening on the water and the kaleidoscope of colours that we find at St. Peter Port. The musical material repeats with ever-increasing intensity and with various countermelodies added to it, until a theme from the first movement makes an appearance and rounds off the piece in a blaze of full orchestral colour.
© Ronald Corp, 2009
Read more at the BBC website and hear Ron discussing the inspiration behind Guernsey Postcards…