A Forsaken Garden

for treble recorder, clarinet, viola and piano

Jeremy Pike

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for treble recorder, clarinet, viola and piano

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Composer Jeremy Pike
Year of Composition 2016
Duration ca.7'
Instrumentation Piano, Viola, Recorder, Clarinet In A
Categories (all composers) , , , ,
Catalogue ID ce-jp2afg1


This piece was specially commissioned for performance in the William Alwyn Festival 2016. It takes its title from a poem by Algernon Charles Swinburne, who was inspired by the desolate contrast between land and sea in several of his poems, particularly through his visits to Suffolk and the lost town of Dunwich. The viola is given the principal role in a long, flowing melodic line that is initially complemented but later interrupted by the recorder and clarinet, over a more static piano part that gradually increases in intensity and then fragments as the piece progresses. As the music builds towards the final climax we hear the tolling of submerged church bells in the piano; these gradually subside until all that remains is the sound of seabirds mocking the disintegration of the garden and all the memories that were once contained within it.

Commissioned by the William Alwyn Festival. First performance: 14 October 2017 by members of the Atea Wind Quintet with Sarah-Jane Bradley (viola) and Nathan Williamson (piano), Blythburgh, Suffolk, in the John McCabe commemorative concert given as part of the 2017 William Alwyn Festival.