It is a rare event in music today for a composer to release at one time a series of substantial compositions for orchestra. Even rarer is to find such a series produced with companion versions for chamber ensemble and for keyboard duo. Before the advent of recording this was common practice, but in taking this approach Nigel Morgan is encouraging musicians to once more get their hands on the music. Though written in the spirit of earlier times the concertos have a radical edge: self-directed ensemble practice meets Open-Form techniques and the new technology of Active Notation. This new work develops from two sources: a series of algorithmic compositions inspired by Nicolas Harnoncourt's notion of the Instrumentarium Novum; the composer's work as project composer with the BBC National Orchestra of Wales. The latter resulted in two BBC commissions for distributed performance that introduce a continuo presence back into ensemble music, a key element in Six Concertos.
2009 Nigel Morgan