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Flame and Shadow : for soprano, violin, clarinet and piano

by Anne Cawrse (2019)

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Flame and Shadow


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Work Overview

The text for this work is taken from four poems (three complete, one extract) from American lyric poet Sara Teasdale's fifth collection of poetry, 'Flame and Shadow' (1920).

The words speak of beauty, of true knowledge of self, and of the somewhat enigmatic and curious process of creating- in particular, how what you create connects to and is a part of who you are.

The resultant work is like a song cycle, with each individual 'song' developing its own musical material. All four sections are sprinkled with flickers of light and harmonic warmth, heard alongside more subdued and hazy moments. The harmonic language of the work relies heavily upon intervals of 4ths and 5ths, and it was my intention to juxtapose passages of 'closed' sound against that of 'open' sound, as the note sets created by the perfect intervals contract and expand according to what I perceive as the direction of the text.

Work Details

Year: 2019

Instrumentation: Soprano, violin, clarinet in B flat, piano.

Duration: 16 min.

Difficulty: Advanced

Commission note: Commissioned by Plexus Ensemble.. Commissioned for the inaugural Women in Music Festival, March 2019

First performance: by Greta Bradman, Plexus Ensemble — 9 Mar 19. Storey Hall, RMIT University, Melbourne

The composer notes that this work is related to:
'Spring Songs' by Anne Cawrse (Sara Teasdale settings)

Performances of this work

16 Sep 2019: at The Firm New Music - Concert 2 (Elder Hall). Featuring Bethany Hill.

9 Mar 19: Storey Hall, RMIT University, Melbourne. Featuring Greta Bradman, Plexus Ensemble.

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