Matthew Brown Composer


Els Encantats programme note

Els Encantats, a single movement work for wind orchestra written during 2021 and early 2022, is named after the Serra del Encantats meaning Mountains of the Enchanted. These are two mountain peaks called Gran Encantat and Petit Encantat and they are located next to the Sant Maurici lake in the Pyrenees in Catalonia, Spain. According to legend, these particular mountains were formed when two hunters escaped mass in order to hunt the chamois – a goat-antelope – but were cursed and petrified, turning them into vertical peaks.

My focus was often on the emotions of a hypothetical mountain climber, including tension and fear, contrasted with the pleasant beauty of Gran Encantat, Petit Encantat and Sant Maurici lake. When writing the score, I was keen to adopt a strongly Spanish stylistic influence, as exemplified by the prevalent Phrygian mode. Els Encantats opens with a tentative introduction before embarking on an unsettling journey towards a dramatic conclusion.