Knucklas Arches

for violoncello and piano

Robert Peate

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for violoncello and piano

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Composer Robert Peate
Year of Composition 2016
Duration 7'45"
Categories (all composers) ,
Catalogue ID ce-rp1ka1


Robert Peate’s haunting three-movement Knucklas Arches was inspired by the impressive, thirteen-arch Victorian viaduct that towers over the village of Knucklas, near Knighton. The opening slow movement was veiled, expansive and imposing with spiritual overtones; the coursing central movement was powered by motor-
rhythms, and the sustained finale was introspective and songlike. Peate’s delicate and painterly paragraphs were sensitively realised in this cogent and satisfying first performance.

– Paul Conway (Musical Opinion, October 2017)

The imposing and characterful viaduct that towers over the village of Knucklas in Powys was the model for this three-movement work for ‘cello and piano. On a visit to Knucklas in spring 2016, the sight of this 13-arch viaduct (which seems almost to grow out of the landscape) began to suggest music. Viewing it from various perspectives (including from nearby Offa’s Dyke), noting features such as the inlaid crucifixes at each end, learning more of the history and folklore behind the structure, and the distinctive beauty of the surrounding landscape, all fed my approach.

Comissioned for the Presteigne Festival with funding generously given by Kevin Jones and Laura Woodside-Jones, Knucklas Arches was premiered by Gemma Rosefield – ‘cello and Tim Horton – piano, at the 2017 Presteigne Festival.