Our Great Grief and Joy

for flute, harp and viola

Richard Barnard

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for flute, harp and viola

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Composer Richard Barnard
Year of Composition 2016
Duration ca.7'

Categories (all composers) ,
Catalogue ID ce-rb5ggj1


I recently completed a song cycle ‘Woolf Letters’ setting letters that Virginia Woolf wrote to her sister, the artist Vanessa Bell. “We wish to make known to you our great grief and joy at the news that you intend
to marry” is a line from an early letter Woolf wrote in response to her sister’s engagement to Clive Bell.

This piece uses some of the musical material from the first song of the cycle. The music reflects the precarious balance between playful but cold formality and intense intimacy; the entwined strands of love and jealousy that existed in the relationship between the two artists and sisters.

Our Great Grief and Joy was commissioned by Sarah Newbold and first performed by Sarah Newbold, Martin Outram and Katherine Thomas at the Lion Ballroom in Leominster on 25th September 2016. With thanks also to Imogen Barford.