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Decadent Purity, op. 26

Sheet Music: Performance Parts

Decadent Purity, op. 26 : for viola d'amore and ensemble / Jack Symonds.

by Jack Symonds (2016)

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  • Library Availability: This item is not available from the Australian Music Centre Library
  • Instrumentation: Viola d'amore solo, 2 violins, 2 cellos, double bass, piccolo, bass flute, clarinet in Bb/bass clarinet, contrabass clarinet, Wagner tuba, percussion (obbligato part).


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"Could this have been love? Grant it to be one form of love, for even though at first glance it seemed to retain its pristine form forever, simply repeating that form over and over again, it too had its own unique sort of debasement and decay. And it was a debasement more evil than that of any normal kind of love. Indeed, of all the kinds of decay in this world, decadent purity is the most malignant." Yukio Mishima, Confessions of a Mask

The seven movements of this concerto explore the shifting weights of fanatical obsession and desire. The first and sixth simply investigate how we hear the sacred construction of a scale, the second, fourth and seventh deal with the accrual and dispersal of unstable energy and the third and fifth are interior slow movements reaching back to a curdled and disappeared romanticism. The centre, mostly hidden, is the solo viola d'amore's tuning of its 7 strings to a chord of D minor. Every other process tries to disrupt and desecrate the natural harmonic construction of this ancient instrument. The other instruments act like a modern mirror, offering the viola d'amore an at-times unkind reflection of its material. The soloist's relationship with the surrounding ensemble isn't combative: they often amplify and extend the feelings and thoughts of the soloist, and occasionally present an entirely opposite direction and alternative path.

Published by: Australian Music Centre — 1 set of 12 performance parts (159p. -- A4 (portrait))

Difficulty: Advanced

Duration: 27 mins

Dedicated to James Wannan

Commissioned by James Wannan.

First performance by James Wannan, Kaylie Melville, Argonaut Ensemble, Jack Symonds at BIFEM: Seeing Double (Ulumbarra Theatre) on 2 Sep 2016

The composer notes the following styles, genres, influences, etc associated with this work:
Japanese literature

Typeset edition.

This edition produced 13 May 18.

Related products

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Decadent Purity, op. 26
Score: Decadent Purity, op. 26 : for viola d'amore and ensemble / Jack Symonds.

Decadent Purity, op. 26
Score [ePDF]: Decadent Purity, op. 26 : for viola d'amore and ensemble [eScore] / Jack Symonds.


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