Michael Daugherty‘s Concerto for Percussion and Wind Ensemble, titled UFO, was composed 2000 for the percussion virtuoso Evelyn Glennie. This spectacular tour-de-force for the soloist is of course inspired by the UFO culture of recent times in the United States and features multiple percussion instruments, both tuned and untuned.
The second half of the concert consists of three pieces with associations to the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester. The first, Fergal Carroll‘s Amphion, is single movement work, taking its inspiration from Amphion, the mythological King of the Thebes in ancient Greece, takes on a very specific tonal feel from the composer’s use of the Greek modes and displays his very distinctive ear for sonority and instrumental colour.
Gary Carpenter's Latchford Locks is a continuous set of variations that references the physical and historical path of the Manchester Ship Canal. There are two basic themes and the variations first break these apart then take the form, amongst others, of a polka and a waltz before climaxing in a dance style of a much more modern nature.
Edward Gregson wrote The Sword and The Crown for Royal Air Force Music Services and chose to re-use material from his 1988 music for the Royal Shakespeare Company’s Plantagenets trilogy.