Of Crossed Destinies

for solo harp

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for solo harp

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Year of Composition 1993
Duration 12' 30"

Instrumentation Harp
Categories (all composers) , , , ,
Catalogue ID ce-pa1ocd1


This work takes its title from The Castle of Crossed Destinies by Italo Calvino. In this novel, a group of travellers rest in a remote castle and discover that they have mysteriously lost the power of speech. Each traveller tells his tale using a sequence of appropriate tarot cards. As the tales are told, many of the cards are reused and take on different meanings. In the final pattern of cards all tales are told, but this pattern also connects all the travellers, imprisoning them in the castle.

My work consists of three ‘tales’ enclosed by a frame. All the tales share melodic figures and harmonic progressions, yet have different characters and directions. The whole work is constrained by a sombre mode.

Of Crossed Destinies was commissioned by Hugh Webb with funds from the Arts Council of Great Britain.

A recording of this work can be found on Wind-Up: chamber music by Paul Archbold and Fabrice Fitch, Metier (MSV CD92042).