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Stuart MacRae

Publisher: Novello & Co

One Man in his Time (2000)
commissioned by Michael Graham-Jones
Novello & Co Ltd
Works for 2-6 Players
Year Composed
20 Minutes

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Programme Note
Stuart MacRae One Man in his Time (2000)
Stuart MacRae: One Man in His Time

Movement I: Moon
Movement II: Tuesday's Child
Movements III: The Lover (Ballad)
Movement IV: The Bubble Reputation
Movement V: Veneratio/Friday
Movement VI: Spectacles and Pouch …
Movement VII: Sunset/Rise - Violet

In the months leading up to the time when I began writing One Man in His Time, I met on a number of occasions with Michael Graham-Jones, who commissioned it, to discuss what form the piece might eventually take. It was on the way to one of these meetings that I came upon the idea of writing a string trio with 7 movements: one movement for each of the possible combinations of instruments (3 solos, 3 duos and 1 trio). I was also intrigued by the associations of the number 7: the colours of the spectrum, the days of the week (each of which has associated with it a planet, a god, a characteristic …) and most importantly for the purposes of our project, the seven ages of man, as expressed in Shakespeare's As you like it.

The seven movements of the piece share very little material; rather they are complementary character pieces which occasionally recall one another, but only in the guise of a remembered mood or a fleeting harmonic reference. The final movement, "sunset/rise - violet" does not attempt to draw conclusions about the end of life (in this respect differing from the Shakespeare) but rather invites the listeners to draw their own conclusions - the references to sunset and sunrise in the title refer to the violet skies which can signify either the end of one day or the beginning of another.

Score sample

  • 03 AUG 2003
    Piano Quintet Country Premiere
    One Man in his Time Country Premiere
    Bargemusic Series
    New York, USA
    Chamber Domaine
  • 06 JUN 2003
    One Man in his Time Country Premiere
    Motus World Premiere
    Spannungen Festival
    Heimbach, Germany
    Soloists from the Spannungen: Musik im Kraftwerk Festival, Heimbach
  • 30 SEP 2001
    One Man in his Time World Premiere
    Jacqueline de Pré Music Building, St. Hilda's College, Oxford
    Tavec String Trio

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