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Alles Vergangliche (2001)
trumpet and snare drum

Alles vergangliche are the words sung by the chorus at the end of Mahlers' Eighth symphony. More often than not, I choose the title of a piece following composition. I liked the idea of relating a small-scale work to a gigantic masterpiece such as Mahler Eight. I felt a connection with my piece to the ideas of the text, taken from the closing scene of Geothe's Faust 2, (known in Gernamy, I have read, as the Anchorite's Scene). The very sounds that I sue in Alles seemed to me to have a strong affinity with the line of Goethe; "alles Verganglich ist nur ein Gleichnic". I felt a further affinity with the Mahler symphony. Having listed many time to the work I had a strong impression of Part Two being a succession of 'star turns'; something that in England would be called a variety show! This is in no way a derogatory remak, just a - perhaps oblique - personal observatoin. I like the way that Mahler, without relent, follos an almost operatic scheme of things, piling climax upon climax until the overwhelming finale. In a modest, substantially reduced way, 'Alles' Follows a similar path to the Mahler, with very little of the grandiose found in the latter. Many of the techniques used in the trumpet writining are those that I use myself as an improvising trumpet player. The prominant use of the snare drum is a continuation of the ideas I used in 'etcetera for snare drum' I wrote in 1998 and first performed by Lee Ferguson.

Following education at Surrey University where he studied composition with Reginald Smith Brindle, Sebastian Forbes and Robin Maconie, Chris Burn became involved in free improvisation. A commitment to this way of working has stayed with him throughout his career. He considers all his compositional work to be informed by his experiences in this area of contemporary music making. In 1984 he formed Ensemble, an octet of improvising musicians whose work embraces some aspects of composition. This group is still working today and has performed at many European festivals and broadcast on radio and television.

chris burn has worked predominantly in free improvisation since the late 1970's. Much of this work has involved saxophonist John Butcher, both in the large group; Chris Burn's Ensemble or in smaller projects. In the mid 1990s in addition to this work he began again to compose fully notated pieces. These have included three works for piano, the solo for snare drum, Alles Vergangliche and a piece for Tubulate (two Tubas and two Euphoniums) entitled 'Hall of Mirrors'.   At present he is involved in developing his work with electro acoustic and amplified piano. A series of his   arrangements of Derek Bailey guitar pieces is to be performed later in the year.   His work has been extensively recorded documenting a career of nearly 30 yrs.