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Sheet Music: Score

Berceuse : Bb clarinet, violin or viola, cello and piano / Becky Llewellyn.

by Becky Llewellyn (1989)

  • Purchase Price: $17.18 (Usually ships in 2-5 business days) — Add to Cart
  • Library Availability: 785.2414/LLE 1 — Available for loan
  • Instrumentation: Bb clarinet, violin or viola, cello, piano.
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  • Audio Sample

    Performance by Lights New Music Ensemble from the CD Milerum's basket


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The idea of Berceuse, or 'lullaby' in French came to me when my grandson Jack was born. I remembered the times when I watched the moon set over the sea when breastfeeding my own children. The feeling of this act of intimacy, mother and child, moon and waves, water and milk, seemed a slice of eternity that seared into me.

In trying to compose the essence of this experience, I sought music that ceaselessly rocked back and forth as in a lullaby, but not regularly. It is set in small units of 3/8, then 4/8 time signatures as a way of pulling the ear to the next wave. As the work moves through a cycle of fifths, the four players share melodies and harmonies, including sustained falling seconds. The simplicity of the materials provides scope for each of the musicians to play with their voice rising and falling, as if they were waves of the sea sparkling with moonlight on their crest.

This piece has been performed more than any of my work and contains my favourite instruments. It has been said of the piece, "It makes me homesick for somewhere I've never been."

Published by: Australian Music Centre — 1 facsimile score (7p. -- A4 (portrait))

Difficulty: Advanced

Duration: 6 min.

Commissioned by Grahame Dudley for performance by Lights New Music Ensemble.

First performance by Lights New Music Ensemble — 20 Jul 90. Little Theatre, Adelaide University

Typeset edition.

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