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Spinning forth : suite for viola da gamba and harpsichord

by Paul Cutlan (2014)

Work Overview

The impetus to write this suite for viola da gamba and harpsichord came from a feeling that Baroque music and jazz improvisation share a tendency for the melodic line to be created by a process of forward motion, in which the shape of what has just been played suggests what comes next. It's a sort of 'follow your nose' method, that contrasts with principles of motivic development and balanced melodic phrasing. Melodic and harmonic development are both suggested by the organic unfurling of the line. I wanted to use my experience as an improvising musician to create a work alluding to Baroque textures and forms.

Work Details

Year: 2014

Instrumentation: Viola da gamba, harpsichord, preferably with 2 manuals: 2 sets of 8 foot strings and 1 set of 4 foot strings.

Duration: 15 min.

Difficulty: Advanced — Some rhythmic complexity, extensive multiple stopping writing for the gamba

Contents note: I. Prelude -- II. With Rustic Energy -- III. Sarabande -- IV. Gigue -- Sarabande solo Gamba version.

Dedication note: Dedicated to Philip Pogson, Jennifer Eriksson

Commission note: Commissioned by Philip Pogson, Jennifer Eriksson.

First performance: by Jennifer Eriksson, Ray Harvey — 26 Oct 14. Recital Hall West, Sydney Conservatorium of Music

The composer notes the following styles, genres, influences, etc associated with this work:
Neo-Baroque, Minimilism, Hurdy-Gurdy, Bach, Jazz, Dance Suite, Tonality, Folk.

The suite has purposely been written so that any single movement or conbination of movements
can be chosen for any given performance. A solo gamba option is given for the third movement.

Performances of this work

26 Oct 14: Recital Hall West, Sydney Conservatorium of Music. Featuring Jennifer Eriksson, Ray Harvey.

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