David Holling

Pennine Music
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BUTLINS 2015 Second Section Test Piece

Phoenix is a programmatic study depicting the life of the fascinating legendary bird. The opening of the piece is dramatic and yet joyous, followed by the first theme which represents the bird in flight, light in style but relentless all the same. A touch of Latin style imposes on a small part of the opening section before returning to the theme once again. A tranquillo section represents the calm dignity of the bird’s fate before the tender slow movement conveys the Phoenix’s death with a new theme. This gives a chance for soloists to demonstrate musical and technical skill and should be treated interpretively instead of mechanically. A fanfare then bursts forth, followed by a serious but short fugal section, as the Phoenix is reborn. The bird takes flight again in the closing section of the music where the melodic content should always be at the forefront of the ensemble.