Golden ring : for pianoforte solo
by Charles Bodman Rae (2012)
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Golden Ring in the latest in an occasional series of piano works inspired by the sound of continental European bells. This piece focusses on Russian Orthodox bell sounds as refracted through the music of Mussorgsky, Rachmaninov and Stravinsky, hence the title, which refers to the 'Golden Ring' of Muscovy, the orthodox cathedral towns and cities that encircle Moscow. Musically it takes as its point of departure the extraordinary tritone juxtaposition of dominant seventh chords used by Mussorgsky for his spectacular depiction of Russian Orthodox bells in the second scene of his opera Boris Godunov. To these two chords I have added two others, all sharing a common tritone. The work is essentially a succession of harmonic variations on these quintessentially Russian bell harmonies. The contrasting middle section includes a reference to the brighter bell harmonies in the memorable closing scene of Stravinsky's Svadebka (Les Noces).
Instrumentation: Pianoforte solo.
Duration: 10 min.
Dedication note: Dedicated to Konstantin Shamray
Written for: Konstantin Shamray
Commission note: Commissioned for the 2012 Adelaide Festival of Arts
Performances of this work
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