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Nicola LeFanu

Publisher: Novello & Co

Sextet (1996)
Commissioned by Concorde with funds provided by the Arts Council of England
Novello & Co Ltd
Small Ensemble (2-6 players)
Year Composed
15 Minutes
Programme Note
Nicola LeFanu Sextet (1996)
My sextet was written especially for Jane O'Leary and the other members of Concorde, whose music-making I have enjoyed on many occasions. The piece lasts about a quarter of an hour, and consists of a dozen or so short sections which are fused together to play as one continuous whole. The colours and textures are contrasting: there are solos and duos as often as there are larger groupings. There are also ideas that can be heard recurring, either specifically, like the quick rhythms of the bongos, or more generally, like the spacious harmonies which open and close the work.

As I wrote the sextet, I had in my mind images of some of my favourite wild places in Ireland: Roundstone bog and the Connemara coast, for example. To the outsider they must seem bare and empty, but if you explore them they are teeming with luxuriant growth. In particular, the wild flowers on the cliffs at Kilbaha in Co. Clare were in my thoughts: my cousin Rachel Burrows spoke of her 'wild garden' there, and it became the subtitle of the piece.

© Nicola LeFanu

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