Benjamin, George : Sortilèges


Dedicated to Yvonne Loriod, this 11-minute work inhabits a fantastical musical world, with a wide range of contrasts in harmonic colour, register, and velocity. The first movement, which serves as a slow introduction, sets the scene with ominous chords spread across the whole keyboard before the second movement erupts with explosive gestures, galloping bass semiquavers and dynamic flourishes. These daemonic sounds are skilfully combined with cantabile phrases and an incantatory scherzo, and the tension builds, with the music verging on pandemonium before dissolving into waves of hushed semiquavers. After a pause, the gentler side of the piece is at last allowed to sing, and the work appears to be approaching a tranquil conclusion – but there is one remaining spell, for the very end…

‘Chiming, craggy… there is a solid integrity to the core of Benjamin’s work that is distinct and individual’
The New York Times (Tim Page), 5 October 1986

SKU: 9780571506712 Category:

Additional information


Faber Music



Primary composer/editor/arranger

Benjamin, George

Published date