Three magic pieces : for cello and piano
by Alicia Grant (2006)
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I. Twelfthly Conjure
The imaginative conjuring up of thematic material twelve times evokes musically the idea of a magic ritual.
II. Night Spell
The piano's unceasing stream of repeated semiquavers creates a hypnotic surface upon which the cello's singing line sways about in a dream-like fashion. The vocal melody of the cello constantly evolves in shape and register, gathering momentum and tension, as if casting a spell.
III. The Exile of Paracelsus
The melancholic melody is inspired by the wanderings of Swiss-born Renaissance physician and alchemist, Paracelsus (1493-1541). Angering his conservative colleagues, he rejected the prevailing classical traditions of taught medicine and was forced to live a life 'in exile'. Constantly journeying from place to place, he was called by some Lutherus medicorum, the Luther of physicians. He believed that the virtue of alchemy lay in its potential to cure disease rather than forge gold, and he is recognised today as a precursor to modern pharmacology. Paracelsus died a modest itinerant. 'A restless wanderer for whom the earth was but a place of sorrow - such is the figure of Paracelsus as he is known to us', stated the psychologist Jolande Jacobi.
Instrumentation: Cello, piano.
Duration: 16 min.
Contents note: Twelfthly Conjure -- Night Spell -- The Exile of Paracelsus.
Commission note: Commissioned by Oliver Coates.
Performances of this work
9 Sep 12.
8 Sep 2012: at Tyalgum Festival of Classical Music 2012 (Tyalgum Hall).
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