Impressions – Kevin Lau
IMPRESSIONS, Lau’s second work for brass band, was commissioned by the Metropolitan Silver Brass Band on behalf of band member Bill Martyn and dedicated to his late wife, Kay Martyn. Although he never met Kay, Lau was inspired to write a suite of movements based, in part, on the affectionate anecdotes of her life offered to him by those who knew her best that formed a series of vivid ‘impressions.’ Her love of books, bird-watching, gardening, and the music of the Renaissance—all of this weaved its way into the spirit of the composition.
Each movement describes a period of the day; together they comprise a broad metaphor for life’s stages—childhood, youth and adulthood, old age. “Dawn” contrasts sonorous, chorale-like progressions with a fugal episode reminiscent of late Renaissance counterpoint; it is the most somber of the three movements, an ode to the fragility of life’s offerings and to the memory of those who have left us. The second movement, “Midday,” is a brief, exuberant scherzo whose dance-like outer sections bookend a sweeping melody suggestive of life at its peak. The third movement, “Sunset,” engages the solo cornet section in a flurry of divisi like a flock of birds, and concludes with a radiant rendering of the ‘Midday’ theme, a final farewell to a life well-lived.