The flickering of his work was almost visible, indeed: there was tension during the pauses – silences were loaded; woodwinds were obdurate in their superimposing musical fragments; fiery strings cast an electronic shadow on the musical texture – sometimes recalling an electric instrument’s feedback. Stinging metallic trumpets tore everything into pieces and, paraphrasing Ed Finnis’ comments in the programme notes, the tottering and insistent quality of the musical patterns moved forward with an ‘unsettling lack of inherent memory of what has gone before’. …the overall impression was of a quivering satisfaction. And the mid air ending was, to quote a friend of mine, ‘just genius’.
Now in his mid-twenties, Edmund Finnis has recently worked in dance and electro-acoustics though lacks nothing in terms of an orchestral sense. Over the course of its 8 minutes, Flicker (2008) touches on a variety of pithy yet distinctive motifs, given coherence by a secure formal grasp (both the culmination and conclusion of the piece were unobtrusively evident) and definition through the skilful deployment of timbre and texture. Lucidly rendered by the GSO, it gave notice of a creative talent of whom one looks forward to hearing more.
My absolute favourite of all of them was the ravishing Variation No.10 by Edmund Finnis…wonderful
striking delicacy …music of simply stunning beauty… exquisitely handled … extremely impressive…. the most magical music of the evening
Notable was the level of technical accomplishment in works conceived in diverse styles and mostly produced by a younger generation of composers. Premiered as the final concert’s centrepiece, Edmund Finnis’s Seeing Is Flux takes its title from the American novelist Siri Hustvedt, its layered textures and ambiguous blend of innocence and sophistication demonstrating a keen ear for sonority skilfully deployed throughout a neat and effective structure; conductor Baldur Brönnimann held its iridescent surface up to the light in what proved to be a compelling reading.
a beautiful new chamber violin concerto… Commissioned by London Music Masters and the Boltini Trust and played with mesmerising lyricism by Benjamin Beilman, the piece has an elegiac quality that reflects its title, with detunings and rich Tippettian counterpoint.