Maiden Castle

Shocklach Diary Mvt.5 for solo piano

--- Martin Bussey

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Shocklach Diary Mvt.5 for solo piano

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Composer Martin Bussey
Year of Composition 2017
Duration 4'15"

Student Difficulty adv
Categories (all composers) ,
Catalogue ID ce-mb2mc1


Fifth in a set of six short pieces for piano which stem from moving in 2015 to a converted Methodist Chapel on the borders of Cheshire and Wales. Border lands have long been a strong interest. Links between place and music are hard to define and seldom absolute, but they form a common strand in much music that has influenced me. History reflected in music is another significant interest, present particularly in works such as Mary’s Hand, my monodrama about Mary 1, and my work exploring the life and poetry of Ivor Gurney, Severn Meadows.

‘Maiden Castle’ sits on top of the nearest hill in Cheshire on the Sandstone Ridge, site of early dwellers, and is a hill-top fort. Being one of few elevations nearby it gives views across to the Welsh Hills and, on a clear day the cathedrals in Liverpool are visible. The sense of time is strong there, heightened by the view of a broad, imposing landscape. The sense of distance is reflected in a wide-ranging melodic idea played by both hand two octaves apart which contrasts with passages in the lower half of the keyboard creating a sense of a possibly turbulent past. The piece builds to a climax using quartal harmonies before subsiding into the opening idea.