Composition Date: 2016
Instrumentation: Solo Viola
First performed by Sally Beamish in St Magnus Cathedral on 18 September 2016. The London premiere was given by Lawrence Power at Kings Place on 4 November 2016
The German word 'glanz' is taken from the poem Verklaerte Nacht (Transfigured Night) by Richard Dehmel, on which Schoenberg based his masterpiece of the same name. It translates as shine, splendour, brilliance, lustre – words I associate with Max and his music.
Verklaerte Nacht was the first work I played with the Scottish Chamber Orchestra as principal viola (in 1988); and Max was conducting. It was the first time I spoke to him, and we both admitted to being in awe of the piece, and nervous about performing it. We often referred to the Schoenberg experience in later years.
Glanz comes from the same root as 'glance'; and this short passacaglia is a sideways glance at Schoenberg's work, exploring two of the themes in a gently ruminatory way – as if thinking aloud.