Title: Southern Express
Year Completed: 1997
Duration: 11 mins
Instrumentation: Flute, Oboe, Clarinet, Bassoon, Horn in F, Piano
Credits: Commissioned by the Royal Academy Manson Ensemble
Premiere: Summer, 1997, Vancouver East Cultural Centre Royal Academy of Music Manson Ensemble



Purchase/Rent: Canadian Music Centre



Southern Express was written for a tour of the Pacific northwest of Canada and United States under the auspices of the Manson Ensemble at the Royal Academy of Music. It is a virtuosic piece for all the instruments. In composing for this ensemble I was trying to break away from the traditional "French" Quintet. More of an inspiration, however, might have come from such composers as Steve Martland and Michael Daugherty who utilize popular idioms within their compositional style. Although this composition does not quote material directly from any popular source, it does strongly hint at a relationship with jazz, the blues and even some funk. The title was decided on a whim, during a trip from Inverness, Scotland to London, England, where I was studying at the time. The recording is from a live performance in Seattle, Washington.

derek charke southern express

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