Venetian Postcards by George Owen
We were delighted as an Arts organisation, with a focus on developing new artists and musicians, to have the opportunity to invite George Owen, from Wells Cathedral School, to compose a piece appropriate to the ‘Venetian Carnival’ theme of this year’s festival.
George describes the experience:
“Venetian Postcards was commissioned in December 2013, and although I had never been to Venice, the prospect of writing a piece of music about that great city on the water filled me with excitement. The idea of postcards was suggested to me by my composition tutor at Wells Cathedral School, Paul Whitmarsh. The first movement, entitled ‘Piazza San Marco’, was my attempt at bringing the bustle, yet charm, of the city across with music. Gondolas are of course one of the first things anyone thinks about, and I set a lilting punting rhythm to a melody inspired by Dvorak’s Serenade for Strings – my main source of string writing I studied – to demonstrate the ebb and flow, and sheer beauty, of the sun rising across the lagoon in ‘Gondoliers at Dawn’. The final movement I tie onwards from the slow movement, and is a lively dance inspired by a close friend who had participated in a ‘Masked Ball’. A whirlwind of exuberance and elation finishes the piece and the trio of Postcards. I am indebted to the many years of String Orchestra playing I have done for making me at one with the ensemble and instruments; the watchful eyes of Paul Whitmarsh and Maxime Tortelier during the compositional process; Purbeck Art Weeks for allowing me this fantastic opportunity; and finally the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra Strings for performing with such vigour and aplomb.”
PAW wishes George every success for the future.