Film and Tv
commissioned by Victoria Soames
Novello & Co Ltd
Works for 2-6 Players
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This work is about the powerful emotions engendered by loss. The famous medieval chant "Dies Irae" about the Day of Judgement is used as a foundation of the work. This chant is incorporated into a series of chords played extremely slowly by the piano (these chords are actually taken from the composer's setting of a poem by Georg Trakl in her Wild Winter): thus the three sections of Threnody correspond to the three lines of one verse of the medieval chant.
In the first section the chords are loud and implacable and interspersed with a misty figure that rises like incense in a great gothic cathedral. The clarinet, the "mourner", decorates the texture with an impassioned recitative.
In the second section grief erupts into turmoil and anger and this mood is echoed in the piano.
Eventually the music calms and the third section becomes a lament. This in turn merges into a coda where a quiet tolling bell-like figure in the piano and a softly rising scale in the clarinet suggest that the mourner has found peace.
The work was written in response to a request from Victoria Soames to commemorate the passing of her teacher, Roger Fallows.
Discography - Threnody
Mark Troop (piano), Victoria Soames Samek (clarinet), David le Page (violin), Gabriel Byam-Grounds (flute), Matthew Sharp (cello)
Nicholas Daniel, The Chilingirian Quartet, Joy Farrall, Emer McDonough, James Turnbull, Huw Watkins
See full list
30 OCT 2013
Canterbury Festival 2013
St Peter's Methodist Church, Canterbury, Kent
Nicholas Daniel (oboe) Julius Drake (piano)
09 DEC 2008
Take Two Oboes
Orfeo II: An Improvisation on a Theme
Echoes of Time Past
Lamenting with Ariadne
In The Still Of The Night
All eyes on... Thea Musgrave
The Sage Gateshead
Juliette Bausor, flute; Nicholas Daniel, oboe; Elizabeth Cragg, soprano; Nicholas Kraemer, conductor
18 JUN 2006
Designs in Time
Bush Hall, London
Daniel Bates, oboe; Katherine Spencer, clarinet; Iain Farringdon, piano; Andrew Morgan, live electronics
18 JUN 2004
Sonata for flute and piano
Leicester International Music Festival
New Walk Museum, Leicester
12 MAR 2002
Fantasy on an American Hymn Tune
Ring Out Wild Bells
Purcell Room, London
Victoria Soames Samek, clarinet / Joseph Spooner, cello / Mark Fielding, piano / Stephen Bingham, guest violinist
Musgrave is a natural melodicist with a beguilingly transparent handling of texture and a rakish, rhythmic flair. The richly contemplative Threnody is a case in point: a meditation for piano and clarinet which fuses medieval plainchant with syncopated interludes to create a unique form of Gregorian jazz.
Alfred Hickling, The Guardian,12/12/2008
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