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Work

My song is love unknown : for piano quartet

by Paul Stanhope (2000)

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My song is love unknown

Non-Commercial

This item is not commercially available from the Australian Music Centre. We regret that we cannot offer it for sale.

CD

My song is love unknown / Paul Stanhope.

Library shelf no. CD 871 [Available for loan]

Display all products featuring this work (1 more)  

Work Overview

The title My Song is Love Unknown is taken from a hymn tune by John Ireland. I
was initially attracted to this hymn tune because of its sense of compassion and pathos,
during a time when, it seemed to me, the English-speaking world was edging towards
authoritarianism, especially in regard to the treatment of its most vulnerable citizens.
Musically, this piano quartet is quite like a Chorale Prelude in that it uses a wellknown
sacred melody and then weaves new material around it. In a structural sense, it
is also similar to a set of variations, the main difference being that only fragments of
the tune are heard at one time until the very end, where the tune is heard in its entirety
for the first time.
Written in a symmetrical form with seven small conjoining sections, the piece is
structured according to the progression of the hymn tune. The material begins lyrically
but gradually becomes more diffuse. In the central panel the music becomes
increasingly argumentative as fragments of the hymn tune are juxtaposed against the
increasingly assertive accompanying textures. Here the ambiguities of conflict do not
so much resolve as decide to co-exist as the tension dissipates. Tonal ambiguities
persist even as we hear John Ireland's beautiful hymn stated in its entirety for the first
time.

Work Details

Year: 2000

Instrumentation: Violin, viola, cello, piano.

Duration: 9 min.

Difficulty: Advanced — Professional.

Commission note: Commissioned by Musica Viva Australia for performance by Australian Piano Quartet.. Composed in London as a part of a study trip, thanks to the Sir Charles Mackerras Scholarship.

First performance: by Australian Piano Quartet — 17 Aug 00. Llewelyn Hall, Canberra School of Music

Work revised November 2009.

Performances of this work

9 Sep 2012: at Selby & Friends (Elder Hall). Featuring Julian Smiles, Elizabeth Layton, Glen Donnelly, Kathryn Selby.

5 Sep 2012: at Selby & Friends (Deakin Edge). Featuring Elizabeth Layton, Julian Smiles, Kathryn Selby, Glen Donnelly.

4 Sep 2012: at Selby & friends (City Recital Hall Angel Place). Featuring Elizabeth Layton, Kathryn Selby, Julian Smiles, Glen Donnelly.

3 Sep 2012: at Selby & Friends (James O Fairfax Theatre). Featuring Elizabeth Layton, Julian Smiles, Kathryn Selby, Glen Donnelly.

2 Sep 2012: at Selby & Friends (Turramurra Uniting Church). Featuring Elizabeth Layton, Julian Smiles, Kathryn Selby, Glen Donnelly.

1 Sep 2012: at Selby & friends (Chevalier College). Featuring Julian Smiles, Kathryn Selby, Elizabeth Layton, Glen Donnelly.

17 Aug 00: Llewelyn Hall, Canberra School of Music. Featuring Australian Piano Quartet.

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