Premiere at National Portrait Gallery London
Huw Belling’s Piece Blumenduft (Floral Scent) was premiered in a concert today at the National Portrait Gallery in London. The Taylor Wessing Photographic prize combined with the Gallery’s ongoing concerts initiative to request pieces from composers who chose photographs from the exhibition. The piece for solo Oboe was performed by Scottish Oboist Helen Fraser, and accompanied the photograph below (courtesy of the Portrait Gallery Website).
Blumenduft translates from German as ‘floral scent’. As the piece unfolds, the emphatic repetition of phrases in slightly different iterations permeates the consciousness like a sweetly wafting scent. But the piece is not all innocence. There is a subcutaneous strain of uncertainty; broken phrases betray a certain doubt; a distrust of the senses.