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Rhapsody No. 1 for solo violin : violin solo

by Robert Cuckson (2004)

Rhapsody No. 1 for solo violin


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Rhapsody No. 1 for solo violin / Robert Cuckson.

Library shelf no. 787.2/CUC 1 [Available for loan]

Work Overview

From the ninth century onwards, the tomb of Santiago (St. James the Apostle) at Compostela in Spain was the third holiest site for pilgrimages after Rome and Jerusalem; pilgrims travelled there from as far away as Central Europe. Notable in the literary references is the degree to which the pilgrims experienced direct contact with nature: stony roads, swollen rivers, mountain passes, the constant accompaniment of bird-song. The final stage of the pilgrimage, reached after months of travelling, often under arduous conditions, was the arrival at The Mount of Joy, from which Compostela and its cathedral were visible in the plain below. Here it was traditional for the pilgrims to spring about and call out together in all their various languages.

The material on which the Rhapsody is based consists of sacred and pilgrim songs from many regions, among them a hymn of the Syrian Church, which may date back to the times of St. James himself; a 16th-century German pilgrim song, "The St. Jacob's Hymn"; and the great conductus "Congaudeant catholici" from the Codex Calixtinus of Compostela, considered to be the first three-voice composition in Western music.

Work Details

Year: 2004

Instrumentation: Violin.

Duration: 7 min.

Difficulty: Advanced — comparable to one of the Ysaye Sonatas

Dedication note: Dedicated to Miranda Cuckson

First performance: by Miranda Cuckson — 25 Jan 07. Greenwich House, New York City North River Music series


Performances of this work

25 Jan 07: Greenwich House, New York City North River Music series. Featuring Miranda Cuckson.

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