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Sheet Music: Score & Part(s)

Precipice : for oboe and piano / Elliott Gyger.

by Elliott Gyger (2010)


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Precipice takes the idea of the pi├Ęce de concours as its starting point, but arranges its various components into an unexpectedly dark narrative. In addition to its topographical meaning, there is a less common definition of "precipice" as a precarious state or situation of great peril: connotations of danger and excessive speed (as in the adjective "precipitous") are also relevant to the mood of the work. The oboe here is intrinsically a plaintive, lyrical instrument - agility is attainable but doesn't come naturally, and always seems vulnerable to collapse.

The quick first movement, 'At the edge', resembles a variation set of accumulating tensions, in which the oboe, initially dance-like, is placed under ever greater pressure, reaching breaking point towards the end. The piano accompaniment is, by turns, laconically indifferent and downright hostile. The second movement, 'After the fall', follows without a break. Here the two instruments attempt to reassemble a musical line from pulverized fragments, reaching in the process some sort of uneasy truce.

Published by: Australian Music Centre — 1 facsimile score (26p. -- A4 (portrait)) and 1 part (11p. -- A4 (portrait))

Difficulty: Advanced

Duration: 12 mins

Commission info: Commissioned as part of the "101 Compositions for 100 Years" project.

First performance by Matthew Bubb, Emmanuel Cassimatis, Alex Fontaine, Jeanell Carrigan — 6 Oct 10. Sydney Conservatorium of Music

Includes program and performance notes.

Typeset edition.

ISMN: 979-0-720117-64-5

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