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Vessel : for string orchestra

by Cyrus Meurant (2018)

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Vessel : for string orchestra / Cyrus Meurant.

Library shelf no. 784.7/MEU 2 [Available for loan]

Display all products featuring this work (1 more)  

Work Overview

In Thomas Tallis' "Why fum'th in fight" (Psalm 2), themes of nonconformity in contrast to submission are manifest with severity. It was Tallis' setting - also known as the 'Third Mode Melody' from the "9 Psalm Tunes for Archbishop Parker's Psalter" - that centuries later would form the basis for Ralph Vaughan Williams' "Fantasia on a theme of Thomas Tallis".

I considered embarking upon my own "re-composition" of English music to fit the ACO Collective's 2018 tour program - which included music of Purcell, Vaughn Williams and Britten - though I was eventually inclined to compose my own musical response to Tallis' Psalm 2 setting. In doing so, I've attempted to engage with the essence of the original work as inspiration rather than compose a "fantasia" on a musical theme or develop a literal set of "variations". Ultimately, the work has become a kind of vessel (Psalm 2:9) through which these timeless ideas are metaphorically re-contextualised.

My new work takes a modular approach to composition in a series of poetic musical responses to each of the twelve verses of the psalm. The twelve parts immediately segue into one another, with each section presenting various permutations of instrumentation: solos, duos, trios, quartets and whole section divisions. In the eighth part there are 16 separate lines of music. The setting of Psalm 2 from the Genevan Psalter (harmonised by Claude Goudimel) is also referenced before a definitive climax and peaceful conclusion.

My special thanks go to the ACO's Artistic Administrator Anna Melville and ACO Collective Artistic Director Pekka Kuusisto for bringing about this opportunity.

Work Details

Year: 2018

Instrumentation: Strings (min.

Duration: 10 min.

Difficulty: Advanced

Commission note: Commissioned by Australian Chamber Orchestra.. Commissioned by Australian Chamber Orchestra.

First performance: by ACO Collective, Pekka Kuusisto — Mar 18. Cellblock Theatre, National Art School, Sydney

Performances of this work

24 Mar 18: Albany Entertainment Centre, Albany WA. Featuring Pekka Kuusisto, ACO Collective.

22 Mar 18: Margaret River Cultural Centre, Margaret River WA. Featuring ACO Collective, Pekka Kuusisto.

20 Mar 18: Bunbury Regional Entertainment Centre, Bunbury WA. Featuring ACO Collective, Pekka Kuusisto.

17 Mar 18: Mandurah Arts Centre, Mandurah WA. Featuring Pekka Kuusisto, ACO Collective.

16 Mar 18: Goldfields Arts Centre, Kalgoorlie WA. Featuring ACO Collective, Pekka Kuusisto.

15 Mar 18: Queens Park Theatre, Geraldton WA. Featuring ACO Collective, Pekka Kuusisto.

Mar 18: Cellblock Theatre, National Art School, Sydney. Featuring Pekka Kuusisto, ACO Collective.

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