Written for Euphony Euphonium Quartet. Winner of the 2012 Stainer & Bell Award for Brass Composition, held at the Royal Welsh College of Music & Drama.
Equinox was written in late 2011 as a showcase for the euphonium quartet Euphony, who gave the premiere at the opening concert of the ‘Festival of Brass’ at the Royal Northern College of Music in January 2012. Following its initial performance, Euphony played the work extensively, including a performance at the International Tuba Euphonium Conference in June 2012, at the Brucknerhaus Concert Hall in Linz, Austria. The word ‘equinox’ is derived from the Latin aequi (equal) and nox (night). It is the name given to the twice-yearly occasion when the earth’s axis is inclined neither away from nor towards the sun, so that day and night are of the same duration. With this in mind, the work is structured from two thematic groups, consisting of sections of equal length. The first, which is heard after a brief introduction, is marked Energico, and its character is marked by sustained, lyrical lines unfolding over an accompaniment of rapid and deftly articulated rhythmical phrases. The second section, slow and expressive, offers the strongest contrast both in mood and tempo. By a further association of ideas, this sharp distinction of material could be thought of as representing the frenzy of daytime in comparison with the tranquillity of night. In the third and final section, figures from both the preceding sections are brought together in a vigorous finale, the interplay of the four parts intended to demonstrate the capabilities of the euphonium to the full. Equinox was the winning entry in the 2012 Stainer & Bell Award for Brass Composition, held at the Royal Welsh College of Music & Drama.