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Elegy : for solo viola and strings

by Peter Sculthorpe (2006)



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Elegy : for solo viola and strings / Peter Sculthorpe

Library shelf no. 784.7273/SCU 1 [Available for loan]

Work Overview

Father Arthur Bridge is the founder of the funding organization, Ars Musica Australis.
Following the commissioning of this work by the organization, his mother, Elaine, died. I decided to dedicate the work to her memory. In this way I also pay tribute to Arthur for his immense contribution to Australian music.
In one movement, the Elegy begins with an extended melody played by the soloist. Marked intenso and harmonized by a ground bass, this material forms the basis of the work. It is followed by the Kyrie from the Plainsong Mass of the Dead, the chant played first by cellos and then by violas. Above it, the soloist adds a counter-melody, recalling intervals, especially seconds and fifths, heard in the first part. The music culminates in a march-like section, molto risoluto, leading to a climax and to a final statement of the chant.
Following the Kyrie, the march-like music appears in a new guise. Played first as a viola solo and then by the orchestra, it leads to the climax of the work. The opening music then returns here marked calmo, and this leads to an extended coda.

Work Details

Year: 2006

Instrumentation: Solo viola, string orchestra.

Duration: 18 min.

Dedication note: In memory of Elaine Bridge

Written for: Francis Kefford

Commission note: Commissioned by Rev. Dr Arthur Bridge for performance by Ars Musica Australis.

First performance: by Francis Kefford, Sydney Youth Orchestra, Ronald Prussing — 17 Jun 06. City Recital Hall, Sydney

Performances of this work

17 Jun 06: City Recital Hall, Sydney. Featuring Francis Kefford, Sydney Youth Orchestra, Ronald Prussing.

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