Barren grounds : for B flat clarinet, viola, cello and piano
by Andrew Schultz (1988)
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Library shelf no. CD 119 [Available for loan]
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On the Illawarra escarpment overlooking the sea, Barren Grounds is a wilderness reserve and bird breeding area. With a strange and otherworldly landscape - stunted growth and marshy ground - the place feels still, yet the barren, eerie surface conceals a fecund underlife. For me, the place occupies a state of mind; this, rather than any programmatic intention, prompted the title.
Movement 1, is a slow, lyrical and sinewy reworking of a vocal piece, Seafarer whose final line: "And learn to sleep upon this ground", with its reference to mortality, suggested the passacaglia form used.
Paul Klee's ornithological automaton painting, The Twittering Machine gives Movement 2 its inspiration. The musical intention at times resembles an ungainly machine that keeps running awry and needs to be wound-up again. Spinning out rhythmic fragments and employing mosaic technique are recurrent preoccupations.
Perihelion commissioned the work with funding from the Performing Arts Board, Australia Council.
Instrumentation: B flat clarinet, viola, cello, piano.
Duration: 16 min.
Difficulty: Advanced — Advanced/professional.
Contents note: I. ...this ground -- II. The twittering machine.
First performance: by Perihelion — 27 Oct 88. University of Queensland
Version for clarinet, violin cello and piano is titled Barren grounds 2.
Performances of this work
27 Oct 88: University of Queensland. Featuring Perihelion.
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