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Thea Musgrave

Publisher: Novello & Co

Snapshots (2009)
Commissioned by the Scottish International Piano Competition as the test piece for the 2010 competition
Novello & Co Ltd
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Programme Note
Thea Musgrave Snapshots (2009)
There are many different interpretations of this work – there is not one ‘correct’ way
of playing it. It grew out of an idea when the composer was teaching students the
importance of ‘marking up’ their music and showing them how changing dynamics or
tempi can completely alter the character of the music.

There are five snapshots which are preceded by a short introduction; the same motive
forms a link between some of the sections, and at the end a short coda.

There is an obvious parallel with ‘Pictures from an Exhibition’, but here, rather than
walking through a museum to admire the works of art imagine leafing through a
photograph and contemplating old snapshots.

Each performer should make the choice of tempo, dynamics, sound quality (staccato
versus legato), phrasing and pedalling that will describe the nature of these snapshots.

Thea Musgrave

Score sample

Thea Musgrave’s specially commissioned Snapshots is convincingly made a welcome addition to the repertoire.
Jeremy Nicholas, Gramophone Magazine,01/04/2011
All eight [semi-finalists] had to play Thea Musgrave’s commission, Snapshots, where she deliberately left blanks, as it were, demanding creativity from all pianists. We had every version under the sun, from Impressionism to the metallic percussiveness of Prokofiev.
Michael Tumelty, The Herald (Glasgow),15/09/2010
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