Five Highland Scenes are a set of miniatures for violin and piano inspired by Scottish landscapes.
Movements I and III (Out on the Hills and Snowbells) were previously written on Sound and Music’s Embedded programme as part of the Embedded: Radio 3’s Composer in 3 project and premiered in collaboration with BBC Radio 3.
Returning to these two short pieces at various points throughout 2017 and 2018, I began to think about combining them as part of a cycle of five miniatures for violin and piano. Both of the original works deliberately conjured images of nature and the outdoors. Following a solo cycling and walking trip I made in 2017 I began to contemplate further exploring this theme in the remaining movements. (Mostly) fond recollections of the tendency for Scottish mountain weather to cycle between extremes of sun, gentle snow and heavy downpours all within a single day inspired the broad range of characters and evolving textures found throughout the piece.
The complete set was written for Benjamin Baker. Matthew and Benjamin have collaborated several times previously, including for example on Matthew’s concerto for violin, Stranded (picture of the premiere at St. John’s Smith Square on the right).
The second movement, ‘A Light Dusting’, premieres live on Radio 3 on 13 January 2021 at 19:30 from BBC Maida Vale Studios.