for violin, viola and cello

Anthony Gilbert

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for violin, viola and cello

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Composer Anthony Gilbert
Year of Composition 2007
Duration ca.20'


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Student Difficulty

Categories (all composers) , ,
Catalogue ID ce-ag3hd1


All four movements in this intensely personal 20-minute work are built from the same linear and harmonic material, revealing the same two melodic landmarks at key structural points. They are in a sense four equal variations on an implicit source; their structures, however, are all very different, as are their intensity levels.

Rhyme introduces us to the germinal material, presented in two taut, bright, chorale-like stanzas, each preceded by a ‘landmark’. Cry then re-states the gestural lines, now in inversion and in slow, intensely expressive polyphony, chiefly falling from on high as in some folk-musics, with the ‘landmarks’ twice returning us to seductive uplands. Suddenly, Play launches the lines into monodic frenzy, creating electric drama around points of strong stability; the large, central ‘landmark’ melody being the most expressive of these. Caress finally takes us into much calmer waters: free lines sailing gently between smiling chorale reefs, leaving and rejoining the legendary land of King Marke, perhaps.

HumDance is a poem to the composer’s dear friend Ray Sassoon.