Matthew Schellhorn

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World Premiere of Stations by Ian Wilson

During a recital at the 2007 London Festival of Contemporary Church Music on Friday 18 May 2007, Matthew Schellhorn gave the world premiere of a new work written for him by Irish composer Ian Wilson.

Stations is a fourteen-movement work for solo piano (as of May 2007, half-complete), inspired by the Catholic devotion of the Stations of the Cross – a narrative in fourteen scenes that relates to the events leading from Christ's death sentence to his entombment.

Ian Wilson writes: "The work came from an embryonic idea that I had been considering for some time but which came into sharp focus once pianist Matthew Schellhorn expressed interest in having a new work from me.

"In the past, I have sought on occasion to marry aspects of the Christian faith with universal human experience. Works such as The Seven Last Words (for piano trio), Winter's Edge (for string quartet), and Rich Harbour (a concerto for organ and orchestra) have all sought to distil the emotional content of the ideas behind them and to transpose them onto dramatic musical frameworks that carry the works forward unhindered by dogma or imagery.

"In Stations, I use the devotional sequence of the Stations of the Cross as the structural and emotional basis for a large-scale instrumental work. As well as being obviously related to that idea, I also want to expand the potential 'meaning' of the work so that intimations of programme music or purely impressionistic or pictorial responses will not arise, but rather a strong, unified journey-type piece will result. The intention is to have a multi-movement, seventy-five-minute work that creates its own sense of musical drama as it proceeds."

Stations is divided into four Books. While complete performances of the whole work are the aspiration, each Book is also performable as a separate entity. The cycle will continue in recitals in autumn 2007, and will be completed at the Wigmore Hall in 2008.
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