Problems Arising from Sympathy

for bass flute, mezzo-soprano and cello

Richard Whalley

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for bass flute, mezzo-soprano and cello

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Composer Richard Whalley
Year of Composition 2010
Duration ca.12'
ISMN 9790570682379
Categories (all composers) , ,
Catalogue ID ce-rw1pafs1


There are few greater testaments to the ancient Greek’s belief in the power of the mind than the fact that Aristotle’s views on the sciences – obtained through rigorous logic and reasoning – dominated scholarship for almost 2,000 years. Aristotle’s 38 books of Problems (not actually written by him, but known to be derived from his writings), cover a kaleidoscopic range, and give a fascinating insight into his world and thinking. Subjects of these books range from the earthy to the philosophical, and include On Wine-drinking and Drunkenness, Problems connected with Temperament, Problems concerning Sexual Intercourse and Problems connected with Harmony (which give fascinating insights into the music theory of the time). All follow the same format: a question on why something that has been observed is as it is, followed by a series of sentences which attempt to answer this question through reason. The intellectual energy of these questions is quite breathtaking: there are over 1,000 questions in all, and their language and content is intensely vivid and thought-provoking despite the fact the world – and scientific knowledge – has changed so much since Aristotle’s time.

This work was composed in 2010, and is dedicated to Trio Atem, for whom it was written.